Outer Banks Milepost: Issue 3.4

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Who the gokite hell is milepost Aycock Brown? graphiccontent roadmap

Aycock Brown helped make Hatteras hipstamatic before there was Instamatic. Photo: Outer Banks History Center

We’re so happy you asked. Because he just may be the most influential Outer Banker who ever lived.


Sure, Manteo played host to the area’s first clueless visitors. And Blackbeard’s buccaneering ways set the world’s imagination on fire. (Along with a few boats.) Modern pundits might even point to David Stick, who recorded every detail of local history and helped lay the foundation for future development.

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But Aycock Brown did all that and more. Furthermore, he did it all at once: offering much of America their first glimpses of our natural wonders; dramatizing the area’s most thrilling elements; documenting our daily life on an hourly basis to strengthen its very identity. And when the photographer and publicist’s quarter-century reign atop the tourism board ended in 1976, he’d not only helped turn our isolated barrier islands into a thriving beach community, he’d forged the very image of the quintessential Outer Banker.


Think you’re a lady-killing party animal? Aycock Brown met his future wife while actively bootlegging. A slick, summertime huckster? This devilish rake once survived by selling painted seashells to naïve visitors, blatantly stating, “A tourist will buy anything.” Even how he got here is a tale so classic it’s become cliché — visit for two weeks, transplant for life — and once settled in, he proceeded to keep adding to the book of local stereotypes. Just pick up a copy of Aycock Brown’s Outer Banks and you’ll find every page reads like a literary mirror. From the need to be the smartest resident in the room — “Aycock

knows the place to stay, the place to eat, the way to charter a boat, to go drink beer” — to our love-hate-relationship with Weather Channel hype. According to legend, he first named the East Coast’s most famous nor’easter “so from that day on, every editor was comparing hurricane damage to the great Ash Wednesday Storm.” Yet, it’s his reflective images that made Brown — and, ultimately, his subject matter — so immortal. It’s estimated he snapped more than 100,000 photos over the course of his career, and sent nearly as many to newspapers nationwide. Mountains of Jockey’s Ridge sand. Metric tons of mighty blue marlin. Towering lighthouses, taken from up high and below — inside and out — along with gaggles of girls wearing bikinis and pirate suits and whatever else. He also submitted boats crashing on sandbars. Christmas parties on the verge of fistfights. Swashbuckling grandmas wielding filet knifes. Brown knew that what made this place compelling was its inherently raw nature. So when asked to promote the Outer Banks, he didn’t sell a sanitized fantasy

of South Beach or Hollywood. He shared the reality — fish guts and all.

When promoting the Outer Banks, he shared the reality — fish guts and all.

As a result, the visitors he hooked were always happy to be here — instead of wishing they were someplace else. That’s why so many came back. It’s also why so many stayed put. In that way, we’re all carbon copies of Aycock Brown. The funny, vivacious man with a cheeky attitude. A little bit daring. Fiercely committed to his adopted home. A man who was capable of “knocking you off-guard with the depth of his kindness…pushed by the overwhelming force of his zany personality.” Thank God he got here first. — 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: 56-page lenscloth for your 16-megapixel point-and-shoot; paper bikini for a sexy “cheesecake” portrait. 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: editor@outerbanksmilepost.com. Or light us up on Facebook with your opinions and ideas. We promise to find some way to re-purpose them. milepost 3

Tangled Up? Trimming your Tree?

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” — Catherine of Siena “Every picture tells a story.” — Rod Stewart Issue 3.4 Winter 2014/2015 Cover: Flashback photography. Photos: Aycock Brown/Outer Banks History Center Reader You Brushes & Ink John Butler, George Cheeseman, Marcia Cline, Carolina Coto, Jesse Davis, Fay Davis Edwards, Laine Edwards, Travis Fowler, Dawn Gray, Chris Kemp, Ben Miller, Ben Morris, Holly Nettles, Daniel Pullen, Charlotte Quinn, Meg Rubino, Stephen Templeton

Jack & Michelle, Avon Ace

Lensfolk Matt Artz, Chris Bickford, Russell Blackwood, Aycock Brown, Mark Buckler, Rich Coleman, Chris Creighton, Amy Dixon, Lori Douglas, Julie Dreelin, Tom Dugan/ESM, Bryan Elkus, Lauren Feeney, Chris Hannant, Bryan Harvey, Ginger Harvey, Anthony Leone, Jeff Lewis, Jared Lloyd, Matt Lusk, Ray Matthews, Mickey McCarthy, Brooke Mayo, Dick Meseroll/ESM, Rob Nelson, Crystal Polston, Daniel Pullen, Ryan Rhodes, Terry Rowell, Tom Sloate, DJ Struntz, Aimee Thibodeau, Chris Updegrave, Cyrus Welch Penfolk Ashley Bahen, Hannah Bunn, Sarah Downing, Paul Evans, Jim Gould, Sarah Hyde, Catherine Kozak, Dan Lewis, Fran Marler, Matt Pruett, Mary Ellen Riddle, Sandy Semans, Shannon Sutton, Michelle Wagner, Clumpy White, Natalie Wolfe, Michele Young-Stone

For all your HolIday supplIes

Design/Production Jesse Davis Sales Force Laurin Walker Big Mouth In Chief Matt Walker

Has It! 7 Convenient LoCations


Blame It All On Suite P Inc. PO Box 7100 • KDH, NC 27948 252-441-6203 editor@outerbanksmilepost.com • sales@outerbanksmilepost.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: editor@outerbanksmilepost.com; sales@outerbanksmilepost.com. www.outerbanksmilepost.com



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“Darkroom” By Laine Edwards “My dad was always into photography. He shot weird street scenes and developed his own images. After he passed, I was given his old camera, so I decided to pay tribute by painting it on glass. All my paintings are on glass. I started by watching videos of graffiti artists in New York City. You can add layers, peel off pieces, scrape paint away. It’s a little tricky — and kind of backwards — but it gives you a cool threedimensional feel. Here, I started by brushing on the lens and the body. Next, I splattered tiny neon dots everywhere. Then, I took a razor blade and cleaned it up right to edge. Finally, I painted a pale gray background to seal the picture inside. That’s what gives it that 3D effect. That’s what makes the camera go, ‘Pop.’” — Laine Edwards

03 StartingPoint

The patron saint of purposeness.

06 UpFront

Futuristic economies, foundering ships and photographic philanthropy.

20 GetActive

Friends of Youth turns 25.

22 Question Authority

Deep thoughts with America’s leading “blue minded” biologist.

24 A Life in Pictures

42 FoodDrink

How Aycock Brown went from mountain boy to coastal beacon.

Energy drinks just got hotter.

28 GraphicContent

“KDH, phone home…”

30 Flash Forward

45 SoundCheck They are family.


46 ArtisticLicense

Meet a real Renaissance man.


Illuminating vintage shots with modern perspectives.

49 OutThere


40 GoShow

50 EndNotes

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upfront soundcheck DIGITAL DIVERSITY Everyone’s pushing for the Outer Banks’ next economy. Butgetactive what if it’s already here? As summer was winding down on the Outer Banks, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker pulled her wagon into Manteo to talk up the state’s new private-public economic partnerships. Decker brought an upbeat, smiley message to the roomful of local officials and business owners who were still catching their breath after Labor Day weekend.

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“What a great place to live,” Decker exclaimed, citing our natural environment, enviable quality of life and — of course — booming tourism industry. “You’ve got something really, really special here. So, as you grow, as you develop, protect that.”



Protecting tourism has been job number one for local businesses since visitors became the Outer Banks’ fattest cash cow decades ago. Today, Dare County’s visitor economy ranks fourth in the state — generating $953 million dollars in 2013. Not only is it one of the few industries that didn’t nosedive in the downturn of 2008, it’s kept on booming, up $30 million from 2012.

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But it’s not perfect. Outside dollars don’t flow if people don’t show — which is basically between Thanksgiving and Easter for anyone living on Hatteras and Ocracoke, or up in Corolla. Add the threat of a summer hurricane, shoaling of the inlets, struggles


over beach driving, and long-term threats like erosion and sea level rise, and it’s no wonder economic diversity remains a constant concern. Locally, the most popular suggestions tend to be brick-and-mortar solutions; non-tourism ideas like hospitals (done), manufacturing

hubs (see Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park) or a four-year college (be it via CSI or COA). For Decker, it’s fostering a combination of community elements designed to woo fresh industries and huge corporations — “big picture” draws like quality healthcare and education, modern infrastructure and a thriving arts scene. (And when that doesn’t

work, there’s always tax breaks.) But maybe the Outer Banks doesn’t need a bunch more buildings to add dollars and workers. Maybe we just need a more modern approach. And maybe the businesses, the infrastructure and the tools are sitting right at our fingertips.

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“Our website channels the feeling that folks get when they walk into my store,” says Gee Gee Rosell, owner of Buxton Village Books. “It’s shopping with a bookseller who knows how to ask the right questions to put the right book in their hands.”

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Rosell believes it’s personalized customer service that’s kept her going for 30 years. As a result, many of her favorite customers will come back for a taste of Hatteras even while stuck in Ohio. And although the online business in not “a raging success,” it has helped the bottom line in the toughest months.

“Close to 20 percent of our business is online,” says Shawn Deane. “It’s going fantastic.”

And she’s not the only Outer Banks brand flexing digital muscle. Google “fishing tackle” and TW’s is one of the first 10 results. “Kites”? Kitty Hawk Kites flies near the top. And while locals recognize Real Watersports for its king-sized retail store and soundfront condos, the Waves fixture has an even bigger presence online. “We sell way more boards on the website than in our shop,” says co-founder Trip Forman. “Think about it: there are 23 million surfers on the planet. How many of them are going to walk through our doors? But it’s not just surf or kite gear. It’s GoPro cameras and Patagonia shirts. It’s like the web completely takes the isolation aspect out of our local economy. It’s like we never really slow down.” Okay: so people can’t physically vacation on a computer — but a rental company can broadcast a sunny weekend deal. Restaurants may not ship meals, but they can offer printfriendly gift certificates. And when it comes to tangible products, there’s no reason someone

“The web completely takes the isolation aspect out of our local economy. It’s like we never really slow down.” — Trip Forman

Shawn and his wife, Nikki, moved here two years ago to partner with Leanne Robinson at Secret Spot Surf Shop, where they handle the website, apps and everything tech. They primarily sell through Amazon but also deal with Google Shopping and other smaller sites that put neighborhood retailers on a global market.

Deane says he times online sales for the winter months, working around the busy summer so that he can keep up with inventory demands and maintain the cash flow in the off-season. If he had the inventory — a huge factor — he said he could “easily” see Internet sales climbing to 30 percent or higher. Furthermore, the shop recently added a t-shirt business that uses direct-to-garment printing. Instead of selling shirts to one

summer tourist at a time, they’re selling bulk buys to people who may never visit. “It’s definitely not easy and not cheap to get started, typically,” he says. “But the benefits are there once you’re up and running.” And that’s not even the Deanes’ primary job. Their main gig is Meridian Media Works, a design agency they launched in 2000 in Richmond. In fact, it’s that company’s success that gave the couple enough flexibility to live on the Outer Banks. Meanwhile, Deane’s 12-member team telecommutes from North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Minnesota. He also has developers in the Philippines and India. And while he insists the Internet isn’t some magic bullet to make everyone a millionaire, it does make the Outer Banks a much more viable part of a larger economy — all while drawing a new type of skilled worker. “It’s a pretty wired place,” he adds. “The Internet here is better than some cities, so it’s great for creative, techie people — anyone who has the ability to work remotely.” People like Bill Hartlove, owner of Hartlove Design, who started his marketing and consulting company while living in Seattle. Before he moved to the Outer Banks, he lived on an island in the Puget Sound and maintained his business in a log cabin. “It was so cold,” he recalls. “I’d be sitting in bed with an electric blanket and gloves with fingers cut off. You could see my breath. It was pitiful. But it worked.” None of his clients had a clue, despite a

temperamental wood stove and chickens coming in and out of the cabin. Nor did they notice when he moved his home office to Manteo, where he works with more than 40 companies, from internationally recognized (Nike) to locally revered (The Lost Colony). Finally, people don’t have to choose between a challenging career and a coastal lifestyle, allowing an increasing number of telecommuters to call the Outer Banks home. Freelance writers, photographers and editors who work for websites and magazines in California. Sales people who service accounts up and down the East Coast. One nationwide study showed a 79-percent increase in telecommuting between 2007 and 2012. Furthermore, the typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old college graduate who earns about $58,000 — about twenty grand more than the local average. Every high-paying job represents another new revenue stream for our local economy — and a brighter work future for the people who live here. But it doesn’t happen on accident. Hartlove’s philosophy is to look for partners outside the area as a way to grow, and take advantage of sites like Pinterest to cultivate customers. He says to always look a year ahead or more. He also is careful to point out, however, that even with a big list of clients, a fast computer and planet full of consumers, all business is seasonal by nature. “It’s just like the tide,” he says. “You have work, then you don’t have work.” But at least you don’t have to wait for the road to reopen. — Catherine Kozak

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It was a dark and stormy night — no, really, it was — when the Liberty Ship Betelgeuse came ashore at Rodanthe on January 17, 1976. A tugboat was leading the 453-foot, 6,500-ton ship on a journey from the Philadelphia Navy Yard to Brownsville, Texas, when high seas and treacherous winds brought both vessels in danger of beaching. The tug captain ordered the towline released and Betelgeuse wound up stranded in the sand near Salvo, tilted with a jaunty ten-percent list. The “Goose,” as she was known, was property of the Luria Brothers Company of Brownsville, who had purchased the hulk of recyclable iron from the federal government for a cool $200,000. It would be cut into pieces and sold for scrap value.

Now, that’s some flotsam. Photo: Aycock Brown/Outer Banks History Center

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The shining star Betelgeuse becomes a surprise winter attraction

The wreck soon brought locals out on the beach to see the curious sight. Mac Midgett, a young Hatterasman, full of promise — as well as a good bit of spunk — affixed a line to the stranded vessel and fastened it to an anchor on



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the beach. Midgett claimed that by old, maritime law, rights of a lost vessel were given to the first person who laid claim to her. This later proved false, but the act drew attention to the bold and sprightly actions of the bearded man who would later become a successful businessman, community leader and Dare County Commissioner. (Fact: it was due to Midgett’s persistence that the toll was removed on telephone calls between Hatteras Island and the northern beaches.) Nevertheless, radio station WOBR reported live from the scene that Midgett was keeping watch on the Betelgeuse from his “four-wheel drive, rust-spotted pickup truck.” A Coast Guard spokesman said that it was “up to the owners of the ship to get her unbeached.” Meanwhile, the hulk kept drawing sightseers who wondered how she got there and where she came from. Built in California, the ship began her career in 1944 as the SS Columbia Victory

and worked as a Merchant Marine vessel in the Pacific. Following World War II, she became part of the Maritime Reserve Fleet until she was purchased by Uncle Sam and was made ready for service in his Navy. In 1952 the ship was commissioned with her new name, USS Betelgeuse. Cargo ships as a class were given names of celestial bodies. After making supply runs to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, she was refitted in order to carry Polaris missiles and plied the Atlantic to Scotland and Spain.

Mac Midgett affixed a line to the stranded vessel.

Every day, the ship became more of a winter attraction. Everyone wanted to see the aging hulk that was one of the last cargo

vessels used by the U.S. Navy. Folks from the tri-village area, from up and down the beach, and even from out of state, trekked over the dunes to see the behemoth.

transporting them back and forth to the beached ship. The Hatterasers even took soundings around the Betelgeuse in preparations for floating her.

The Coastland Times covered the incident and even polled weekend sight-seers, asking them: “If you were in charge, what would you do with the Betelgeuse?” Creative responses included converting it into a floating condominium or a restaurant. Others suggested charging a fee for viewing.

Two months after coming ashore, the Betelgeuse was refloated and towed to Norfolk, where she was inspected for leaks before resuming her trip to Texas. One person who was glad to see the old ship go was Ed Goldberg, who had an interest in the oceanfront development of Hatteras Colony at Salvo. According to newspaper accounts, Goldberg claimed that the constant barrage of onlookers left behind litter, as well as damaged roads and dunes. He described the mess as “just unbelievable.” — Sarah Downing

A month following the stranding of the Betelgeuse, Murphy-Pacific, a West Coast salvage firm, showed up with a barge laden with equipment. Mac Midgett thought his claim was over when he learned the Betelgeuse’s owners had hired contractors to salvage the ship. But the tide of fortune was with Midgett. He and several cohorts ended up splitting a check for $4,600 for acting as guides for the Murphy-Pacific inspectors and

Sources include: Richmond Times Dispatch, 1/30/1976; “Vigil for Ship not Worthwhile,” Burlington Daily Times News, 1/30/1976; “Interest pays off,” Coastland Times, 2/12/1976; “What Would You Do With It?,” Coastland Times, 2/17/1976; “This was the scene on Friday?,” Coastland Times, 3/16/1976.

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DON’T LET ’ER RIP Warning signs and yellow flags are so last-century. Modern water safety demands space-age computer models, which is why scientists spent this summer compiling local data to add rip currents to the ranks of predictable weather phenomenon. By next season, lifeguards will be able to digitally detect the formation of tourist-sucking sea torrents. There are even plans for an app so less savvy swimmers can check their smart phones before doing anything stupid. (At least we can dream.)

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MONEY YELLS Did you know that Dare County tourism offsets each resident’s taxes by $2,484? Or that visitor spending in NC reduces every household’s taxes by $434? Neither did we. Until Duck, Manteo, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head — along with both the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce — passed resolutions opposing offshore petroleum exploration. The goal? To fight blustery rhetoric with hard proof that a growing, multi-billion dollar tourist economy is more beneficial to the average Tarheel’s future than drilling for dinosaurs.

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SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE? Anyone wondering why New Inlet bridgework stopped this Sept. got a surprising answer: apparently, the NCDOT and SELC are deliberating a 7-mile compromise that would stretch to Rodanthe. The good news? Access to the top half of Pea Island would stay put (at least for now) and the Bonner Bridge replacement could move forward. The bad news? As of Nov. 2, both the updates and workers were suspiciously absent, leaving critics asking if the friendly gesture was just more legal stalling. LESSON LEARNED THE HARDEST WAY Last year, it was a Pennsylvania couple enjoying a lunchtime stroll. This year it was a 21-year-old Bulgarian student heading home late from work. None reached their destination. With roadside casualties piling up in Corolla, Currituck rushed plans to complete two-miles of sidewalk before next season — from the Currituck

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DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL Talk about wave hogs. Hatteras Islanders now have two radio signals to ride: 99.9 for Rodanthe through Waves; 101.5 from Avon south. It took nearly three decades of effort — plus some recent funding from the county and the Outer Banks Community Foundation — but today, Radio Hatteras, Inc. simulcasts a combined 200 watts of news, music and commentary to keep locals tuned-in without any static.



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Club north to the Food Lion. It’s a welcome step in the right direction, but if you’re a pedestrian anywhere else on NC 12, we suggest facing traffic — and moving fast. DO YOU, ADAM, TAKE STEVE…? Or, if you prefer, “Do you, Madam, take Eve?” Makes no difference, really. Especially now that gay marriage is allowed in North Carolina after a U.S. Court ruled the state’s constitutional amendment was illegal. Progressives call it a victory for same-sex couples seeking equal rights. Conservatives say it’s a tear in the social fabric (or worse). Local photogs and caterers call it a mixed blessing, as they balance the joys of more wedding dollars — with fears of committing to even more work. IF 50 TREES FALL IN SOUTHERN SHORES, DOES THE TOWN COUNCIL HEAR IT? Apparently not. Nor did they fully address residents’ concerns, as crowded meetings repeatedly asked the town not to sacrifice Fairway Drive’s natural feel to make room for a fresh road. Instead of calming emotions, the town rushed the process. Within an hour of signing a contract, many of the neighborhood’s oldest arboreal residents stood decapitated, leaving a local population that feels betrayed by its leaders — and cut off at the mouth.

REVENGE OF THE NERDS Score two points for dive geeks. If you remember our summer issue, federal scientists and deepwater history buffs have spent decades hunting for WWII casualties off of NC. In Oct., NOAA’s “Battle of the Atlantic” research team — including partners like CSI and ECU — announced they’d found two of the holiest grails: the cargo ship Blue Fields and the German sub that sank her, U-576. Now the real fun begins as they study the finds. That’ll buy a lot of colored gravel And finally, big changes are coming to the Roanoke Island Aquarium next year thanks to a huge $4.5 million check from the North Carolina Aquarium Society. Planned updates include interactive exhibits, new galleries, a made-over admissions area and expanded gift store. And while the winter start-date got pushed back a couple months, nobody’s complaining so far — especially local parents — who are happy to have a foul-weather playground for pent-up preschoolers.

For detailed reports on many of these stories and breaking local news on a daily basis — plus page after page of local discussion — visit www.outerbanksvoice.com and www.islandfreepress.org.


“You’re a hundred times more likely to be drowned in a rip than bitten by a shark, but that’s all anyone worries about. Maybe instead of those yellow flags they stick up on the beach, they should put a floating dorsal fin on an anchor.” —Travis McGee, “Science aims to save lives with better rip current forecasting,” Aug. 21, 2014, OuterBanksVoice.com.

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Measure twice, cut-up constantly. Harrison (left) stops to laugh at Creef’s latest jab. Photo: Chris Hannant

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Think your boat’s powerful? graphiccontent This modern throwback bridges eras and connects generations.


Stroll down Agona Street to the edge of a park on Manteo’s waterfront, you’ll find George Washington Creef Boathouse. As part of a museum celebrating the Outer Banks’ maritime heritage, it’s named for the Roanoke Island native responsible for our state’s most famous design concept since Carolina Flare. Actually, it was before Carolina Flare. And it wasn’t entirely a Tarheel idea.

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According to Buddy Creef, “My greatgreat-grandfather basically saw a different style of boat in the Caribbean and combined it with his own design elements.”


In the 1880s, Outer Banks merchants sold lumber to resource-depleted Caribbean communities and returned with rum, molasses and sugar. During these trips, George Washington Creef noticed the local vessels were lighter, wider and more maneuverable than the ones back home.

On the Outer Banks, boats were still made from large logs split lengthwise. One half was hollowed out in a fashion similar to dugout canoes; the other was split again to form the sides. The result was a very heavy, awkward vessel. The Caribbean hulls, however, were made from a frame of wooden strips — much like today. They were also wider to add stability. Buddy says that once Creef incorporated these Caribbean concepts into his fishing vessels, “It was like going from a horse drawn cart to a pickup truck.” His great-great-grandfather not only sold the boats, he also taught others to build them. The popular designs became known as “shad boats” — taking their name from the time’s predominate catch — and in 1987, the state legislature designated them as North Carolina’s Official State Historic Boat.

Some of the tools are modern. Others are like the ones used 100 years ago.

As the generations passed, the Creef family moved into other business ventures, such as movie houses. (Buddy runs the Pioneer Theatre, which opened in 1918 and is reported to be the oldest theater owned and operated by one family.) But the boatbuilding gene never mutated away. In fact, Buddy’s made three in his 47 years — the first one at age 13. A few years ago, Buddy said aloud to his friend and boat-builder, Patrick Harrison, that he would like to make his own “shad boat” design as a family tribute — but add some modern twists, much like his ancestor did a century ago. Harrison liked the idea so much that it became a shared dream. “I’d say we started talking about it, oh, 16 or 17 boats ago,” laughs the owner of Harrison Boat Works. “But this year we finally got started.”

Each afternoon around 3pm, Buddy arrives at the shop where he and Patrick joke a little and work a little. A graduate of East Carolina University, Harrison’s major in art design and sculpture is evident all over the Wanchese warehouse. A walnut gun case guards the stairs that lead up to the loft, home to a wooden jig — an adjustable skeleton of sorts. The boat’s ribs are set into place and then wood is molded around the jig to form the body of the boat. Next, it is moved downstairs to be finished and outfitted with storage spaces, benches and other essentials. Some of the tools are decidedly modern. Others are simple planers, much like the ones used 100 years ago. The biggest shift is in materials. “Before, they would have used juniper and oak,” says Harrison. “We are using acume plywood from Gabon in Africa. But the main difference is the finish. We will use fiberglass and about 35 gallons of epoxy.” Actually, the biggest difference is a motor instead of a mast and sail. But the end result would be much to George Washington Creef’s liking: a lighter, stronger and more maneuverable 19-foot vessel. And the traditional paint job would still be familiar: chevy-white with a blue bottom and a red boot stripe. Keep your eyes on the sound because by the time you read this, Buddy might already be cruising the same waters his great-great grandfather fished. Or you might see one just like it. Harrison’s taken four more orders already. If not, you can wait for the next incarnation. As well-intended as the tribute may be, Creef knows there’s always something you wish you’d done different. That’s one boat-building tradition that won’t ever change. “When I built my first one, my daddy told me to sell it right way,” laughs Buddy. “When I asked why, he said, ‘So you can build the one you really want without the mistakes.’” — Sandy Semans milepost 13


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startingpoint NCWorks.gov The number one reason for too much free time? Too little work. NCWorks. gov is a state website that connects jobhungry workers with hiring employers. Just punch in a zip code and choose a distance from five miles (Good luck.) to statewide (See ya next summer!). Granted, most options are either very specialized (certified physical therapist) or entirely entry level (construction laborer; cashier). But the opportunities and income only increase with each mile. And if you think a two-hour commute sucks, you should see what Craigslist calls a “creative gig.”

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The Internet is the ultimate time-sucker. A veritable black hole of do-nothing distractions, from public gossip to private fantasies. You can spend the next three months playing with your laptop just to score some cheap thrills and costly malware. Or you can do something to make your life better. Here’s four websites that can help you find jobs, earn money — even alter your future — all without ever clearing your history.

‘Tis The Season For

Outer Banks Stress-Free Online Yard Sale The virtual yard sale may be Facebook’s most functional feature. One person makes a sale. One makes a purchase. The rest of us enjoy a smorgasbord of voyeurism, from that box of oversized Depends (Oops!) to wedding rings that no longer match (Ouch!). But it’s the sheer range of options that really impresses. Used car? Sold! New shades? Half-off. In fact, a lot of it’s still sealed in a box, making it cost-effective for holiday bargain-hunters — and a way to unload all the crappy presents you never asked for. Shop and sell wisely, you can start the New Year with more cash, less clutter — or both.

Kayak.com • Google.com/Flights When all else fails — bail. See the Louvre. Take a safari. Or just book the cheapest flight to the closest pal’s couch. (That’s what friends and credit cards are for.) The Internet will even help choose your adventure, as websites like Kayak and Google Flights collect data from Travelocity, Expedia and others to create interactive maps showing global fares from Bermuda ($599) to Beijing ($1,148). Just be careful: the same software that sniffs out low rates can boost prices based on your search habits. So before booking, be sure to “clear your cookies.” Or just borrow a buddy’s computer. Maybe they’ll decide to come along and split the rental car.xxx

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Thousand words? Puh-lease. A picture is worth way more than that. To the subject, it’s a chance to preserve their best look for all eternity. (Or at least until a hard drive crashes.) To family and friends, a smiling face is a most cherished gift. And it’s even better when you score a high-grade photo from a licensed professional — 100% free-of-charge.



That’s the concept behind Help-Portrait. It started in 2008 when a big shot Nashville shooter named Jeremy Cowart photographed 200 homeless people as a charitable display of holiday spirit. Six years later, commercial lensmen everywhere pick a day to donate their talents to those in need — whatever they think that need may be. milepost


“I know most locals can’t afford a $500 portrait package,” says Rich Coleman, who staged the Outer Banks’ first Help-Portrait event in 2012. “I can’t even afford what I charge an hour [laughs]. But I can take a photo for nothing and give it to a person as a potential Christmas present or lifetime memory. And that makes it worth many times more.” It’s not just Coleman. Come December 6, a whole team of top local photographers, stylists and planners will transform Nags Head Church into a professional studio filled with bright lights and fancy backdrops. For four hours, they’ll pop flashes for dozens of families, babies and couples. But they don’t just pull the trigger

Don’t even think about saying “cheese.” Photo: Help-Portrait

t take family photos — they give them away. and scream, “Next!” There’s childcare on hand to keep the kids happy. Catered food and DJs to make the mood festive. Everything necessary to keep folks smiling — with none of the cheese factor of a WalMart Santa shoot. “I think people expect the usual fake fireplace set up,” says photog and fellow organizer Ryan Moser. “It’s the opposite.

The ladies get their hair and makeup done professionally. Then we team each person with the right photographer so they feel comfortable. And everyone walks out looking like a million bucks and with a thumb-drive of photos they can use however they want. And it’s all completely free.” Some might even say “priceless.”

Ready for your close-up? Outer Banks Help-Portrait will take place Dec. 6, 2014 at Nags Head Church from 10am-2pm. Interested in volunteering? You can always help with hair and makeup, food skills or financial sponsorships. Learn more by visiting www.helpportraitobx.com.

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It’s time for grown-ups to “man-up.” Photo: Jennifer Wooten


“There’s nothing scary about it all,” laughs long-time Friends of Youth mentor, Rich Ferragina. “The whole objective is to have fun. And to be ready with good advice when necessary.”

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Kids can be intimidating. But they’re not all so cocky. Or even cool. Deep down many are just confused or lack confidence. Those are the ones who really need help. And you don’t need to be brave to be a hero.

Lead BY EXAMPLE Five ways you can help Friends of Youth in 2015.

Since 1990, Friends of Youth has helped more than 1,300 Dare County kids get guidance. Sometimes the adults in their lives don’t make the best choices. Often, their parents simply work too hard to have much free time. Whatever the reason, FOY makes sure there’s a trusty mentor to talk to whenever they need it. It doesn’t take a mega commitment. (Eight hours a month for one year.) Or huge cajones. It just requires a clean criminal record, a healthy lifestyle and the desire to provide a friendly ear and some decent advice. Plus a willingness to share in the benefits the relationship fosters. “I’ve worked with the same kid for four years,” Ferragina continues. “And to see him go from this shy, socially awkward boy to the confident young man I know today is unbelievably rewarding.” Want to share in the joys? Here’s five ways any grown-up can help turn today’s youth into tomorrow’s adults.

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1. Be a mentor. The most personal need is also the most pressing. Not only does FOY rigorously screen-out unfit applicants — they work extra hard to create lasting matches. That means there’s always a kid in need of just the right mentor. But how each pair has fun is up to them. Want to fish for hours on end? Fine. Rather focus on homework every night for a week? Perfect. You can even play video games and no one will bother you. Least of all the kids. As Program Assistant Jennifer Wooten says, “It’s not like, ‘Take me here! Take me there!’ These kids are as happy to walk on the beach or visit a pet store as they are to hang at your house and bake cookies.” 2. Become a sponsor. Sometimes sharing a movie or racing go-karts is the best way to bond. That’s when sponsors can help by keeping costs down. Some local restaurants do discounted meals.

Attractions offer BOGO tickets. But it does more than save cash. Says Program Director Bonnie Bennett: “The majority of our youths come from single-parent families. They may not have the money for puttputt or bowling.” Every happy experience strengthens relationships, so kids feel comfortable seeking advice when life’s not so fun.

there’s always a kid in need of just the right mentor.

3. Donate a service. From beachclean-ups to seasonal parties, regular gatherings do more than keep the group busy — they help kids without mentors score some valuable input. Find out when the next party is and donate supplies.

Even better, provide an actual activity. This summer, Lee’s Li’l Shorebeakers taught nine kids to surf. In November, Kitty Hawk Kayaks paddled the sound. And nothing beats the annual fishing trip on the Crystal Dawn. “For some kids,” says Wooten, “it’s the highlight of the summer.” 4. Cut a check. It’s the quickest fix, but it goes a long way — especially since state funding went bye-bye a few years back. But donations don’t just help with operational costs, they pay for leagues and summer camps that keep kids active when mentors are busy. Says Bennett, “We want our youth to get plugged in and stay plugged in. As long as they’re in the program, they’re considered for scholarships.” 5. Spread the word. Know a perfect mentor? Make sure they know the program. See a student who could benefit? Drop a hint to a parent or

guidance counselor. In a small community, every person who participates is a potential asset — and beneficiary. “There’s so many positive things I can say,” says Jordan Daniel, a high school senior who’s spent five years in the program. “These people helped me so much. Personally. Emotionally. Socially. And when you volunteer, you’re helping everyone. Because you’re helping make a better future for the kid and for society.”

Want to help Friends of Youth’s 25th year be the best yet? Call 252-4755753 to find out about mentoring and February’s required training day. Kids/ Parents: call Bonnie Bennett or your guidance counselor. And for more on the program, applications and brochures, go to: www.darenc.com/foy

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You think the sea makes you happy? Check out these fish-eating grins. Photo: Aycock Brown/Outer Banks History Center

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DEEP THOUGHTS How does living near water make our brains function better? graphiccontent Dr. Wallace J. Nichols discusses the importance of being “blue minded.”


On this thin strip of sand at the edge of a continent, we have a deep connection to the sea. We walk beside it. We wade in it. We ride, float and bathe in it. Whether visitors, residents or natives, that relationship draws us ever closer. But why? And what exactly does water do to our brains?


“Water quiets all the noise, all the distractions, and connects you to your own thoughts,” explains marine biologist and author Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. “Water primes us to feel certain things without letting us know it inspired the relevant neurochemical reactions.”



In fact, Nichols believes just being near the sea positively changes our brain’s chemistry. Gone is what he calls the “red mind” — the one that’s always busy, distracted and hyper-connected. Instead, we plunge into “blue mind” mode: a mildly meditative state primed for moments of intense creativity, clarity and innovative thinking, as well as increased feelings of calm self-reflection. milepost


In his recent best-selling book — Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do — Nichols details exactly how the ebb and flow of the tide is deeply ingrained in our psyche from distant atolls to right here at home. In fact, the first sentence starts with a scene from Jennette’s Pier. “What I’ve tried to do with the Blue Mind project is try to teach people a bit more about themselves so they can live their lives even better than they do,” he continues. “And do it in a way that is hopefully good for the water itself.” We caught up with Dr. Nichols between scoring the cover of Outside Magazine and a 100-city world tour to find out how the ocean can provide feelings of awe, wonder and solitude — and why Outer Bankers may be more “blue minded” than others. — Michelle Wagner

MILEPOST: How would you describe the Blue Mind project to someone who has never heard of it? DR. WALLACE J. NICHOLS: Blue Mind is about understanding why being near, in, on or under water makes us feel the way it does. For a lot of people, that is a good feeling. But it is not exclusively relaxing, blissful or happy. It can be melancholy or scary. It’s all of that, depending on what is happening with the water — and with us. In a way, water is a mirror. The short answer is, “It is about you.” The book feels like it’s about us. We have water everywhere. Is that what drew you to open the book with a scene from the Outer Banks? The Outer Banks was one of those bright blue spots in the story of my life. As a graduate student at Duke, the Outer Banks was in my backyard. That’s where I went when I had extra time. It’s a place that has water on all sides, literally wherever you are. And if you move in any direction, you will cross water in the very near future. We held a conference there because it is a place that is the epitome of the Blue Mind conversation. But just saying “the Outer Banks” evokes something in everyone. People who don’t even know what that is feel something because of the name. For all those reasons, I knew this was the way to open the book, because it is such a powerful metaphor. It also has a thriving creative community. Would it be fair to attribute this to our close proximity to water? Talking to creative people, they describe a kind of “aha” moment when inspiration seems to fall out of the sky and land like rain. But it doesn’t fall out of the sky. It comes from within. Setting the stage for that to happen is important, and that includes being minimally distracted. Our physical surroundings can help that process. If you are standing on Jennette’s Pier looking out — to the north and the south, east and west, straight down and straight up — it’s a much simpler field of view. It allows the part of your brain that processes all the visual input to have a break. And your auditory center of the brain — assuming there isn’t a boom box on the bench next to you — is listening to the sound of the waves. So it is also simplified. And if you are floating, you are not dealing with gravity and keeping

balanced and coordinated. It allows your brain to go into what is called a default mode. That’s when you begin to do self-referential thinking, which is innovative, insightful and creative thinking. And that’s when people feel like they have that “aha” moment. What does that mean for the people who live here that have this all the time? Do we appreciate those feelings more? Or less? In all aspects of our lives we acclimate to the world around us. We can become used to being by the ocean. I find that when people on our coast go away and then come back, they appreciate it more and see the ocean through a kind of new eyes. You can do that without going away, too. You can say, “You know, I am going to appreciate the Outer Banks more just by deciding to.” Just paying attention to when you get in the water is stress reduction. Cortisol levels are dropping. You are boosting your creativity and you are protecting your brain in a sense. You are building memories, which become nostalgia. And if you are out there with someone, you are building social connections. And this could apply to any activity in or near the water? Yes, even walking on the beach and having a conversation with a co-worker or friend or family member — or someone you are falling in love with — that context enhances your relationship. So how can we benefit more from it? One of the things I talk about is access to the water. And access means physical access. When you get there, access also means it’s not polluted. The third key to access is perception. What we are finding recently is that you may get to the edge of the water — you have access, the water is healthy — but you have a smart phone in your hand and you are afraid to get it wet or stolen. That perception keeps you out of the water. If we really want to have these benefits, we need to turn things off, put them away or leave them at home. We need to be aware of that and say, “This is why I’m here. I am going to the beach to have some contemplative time and if I bring my technology with me, then that’s less likely to happen. I won’t be getting my Blue Mind on.”

Our Outer Banks community is really connected in other ways, too. Could we attribute that to the fact that we are surrounded by water? It certainly plays a role. Being surrounded by water, you better know your neighbor. But also, research is finding that when you experience awe and wonder, it changes your brain. It sets you up for compassion and empathy and the feeling that there’s something bigger than ourselves — one with our island, one with the ocean. Those are real feelings that are special and rare. They are increasingly rare because people have their heads down in their screens and are not learning how to experience solitude. So one of the things a place like the Outer Banks can offer — if it’s done mindfully — is it can be a place where people can go to experience awe and wonder and solitude. That’s a gift.

“Just paying attention to the water is stress reduction.” — Dr. Wallace J. Nichols

What should we do to protect that gift? I would say you know what to do. There are some people that make a living off of the things that mess it up, and that’s where the friction comes in. But step back from anything political — any agenda or black-and-white argument — and ask, “What should we do?” Deep down you know. Not even deep down but right in the front of your brain, right in your rational prefrontal cortex. You take care of what you love — really take care of it. Lean in and passionately take care of the living island. Get in touch with your blue mind. Get in touch with the emotional, the social, the cognitive benefits of living where you live and work to protect that — and remove the things that mess it up.

Ed note: The preceding interview was edited for space, flow and clarity. To read the entire discussion — including how Nichols’ Blue Marble Project hopes to pass along ocean awareness to every human — go to www. outerbanksmilepost.com.

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a life in pictures The timeless photos, classic style and enduring legacy of Photographer. Writer. Promoter. Hustler. No single description can fully capture the life and impact of Charles Brantley Aycock Brown. Thirty years since his passing in 1984, the local icon’s name doesn’t just adorn the visitor welcome center in Kitty Hawk — it’s synonymous with the whole Outer Banks. milepost


And rightly so. As the Dare County Tourist Board’s first official director, Brown literally put the “Dare Coast” on the national map and into newspapers and magazines all over the world. If it weren’t for his determination and indefatigable spirit, who knows what the Outer

Banks would be like today? A forgotten backwater? A tawdry strip of ten-story eyesores? Instead, our home is North Carolina’s single most recognized beach community, known for its natural wonders, hypnotic beauty and magnetic vibe.

When describing Brown’s energy and influence, Bill Sharpe, former publisher of The State magazine — now titled Our State — said: “It is my opinion that if other counties had the livewire and helpful publicity organization which Dare County has, the whole coastal area would blossom like a rose in the desert.”

and magazines, a Fox Movietone crew and two news services. He even invited FDR to attend. The president politely declined. But one competitor was a 16-year-old Outer Banker named David Stick. “I happened to be one of only two entrants who had ever gone underwater with goggles and actually speared a fish,” the local historian wrote years later. “It was inevitable, therefore, that I would be one of the two tournament winners [and] the attendant publicity was something few teenagers ever experience.”

Not bad for a mountain boy. Born near Blowing Rock, North Carolina on October 7, 1904, Charles Brantley Aycock Brown got his first taste of the sea — and the publicity game — in 1928 when he helped promote Atlantic Beach. But he wouldn’t really fall in love until that autumn, when he But it was a 1940 article in The Saturday Evening moved to Ocracoke for a two-week gig promoting Post that would cement the Outer Banks’ identity the Pamlico Inn in exchange for in America’s collective room and board. He ended up consciousness and secure sticking around, writing freelance Brown always found Brown’s reputation as stories and working odd jobs — promoter-in-chief. Titled including a stint as a bootlegger. facets of life that “Cape Stormy,” the sevenIt was during one of his runs page photo series began by that he met a local girl named would capture readers’ describing “a long barrier Esther Styron. “When our boat reef from a mile to thirty pulled into the dock she was miles at sea, beginning standing there,” he later recalled. imaginations — even if he in Virginia and extending “She was so pretty I forgot about might have romanticized more than half the length of the booze.” North Carolina.” A year later, the young couple their impacts. Though Brown mentions married, fixing Brown to the Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Carolina coast just as it was Nags Head and Manteo, figuring out what to do with the core of the article is a vivid narrative of life its future. When the Norfolk Southern Railway and history on Ocracoke and Hatteras Island. Company announced plans to stop connecting He describes a world without roads and ruled Morehead City and Beaufort in 1933, business by tides; where a clock was hard to find and owners hired Brown to campaign against the people managed to change with the times closure. His letters and editorials helped keep without really changing at all. A place where the line open, leading to a job as editor of the the journey is an adventure in itself, including Beaufort News and a serendipitous stack of boats, ferries and bumpy beach rides in a future contacts. “station-wagon bus.” While working as the News Manager for the State In the end, of course, Brown tells readers of North Carolina Department of Conservation exactly how to reach this remote haven. And and Development, the aforementioned Mr. Sharpe he was preparing to reap the rewards of its sent the young newsman “a list of editors who impending publicity boom by starting his own occasionally publish travel material about North paper, the Ocracoke Beacon, when Japan Carolina; also a list of rod and gun men who want bombed Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, America was specific information about hunting and fishing.” at war, and Aycock stopped the presses to join Brown worked those connections to promote the the cause. Carolina coast, always finding facets of life that would capture readers’ imaginations — even if he Unable to enlist because of poor eyesight and might have romanticized their impacts. a previous injury, Brown served as a Civilian Naval Intelligence Officer in the 5th Naval One 1939 article for Esquire detailed an District, monitoring the attacks of German underwater craze called “goggle fishing” — aka U-boats on merchant ships traveling the US spearfishing. Today, thousands of people may coast and identifying lost ships and sailors’ pull a seafood dinner off of piers and wrecks, but remains along Carolina’s beaches. Still he back then the sport had few participants. Still, continued to occasionally freelance and take Brown went on to organize what he called “The photos, and when the war ended, he emerged World’s First Goggle Fishing Tournament” at Cape with a new sense of purpose. Lookout, drawing journalists from newspapers


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In a May 22, 1949 interview for The News and Observer, Brown told writer Jack Riley, “Now I do not want to be a publisher. I want to help to make coastal North Carolina the best-known coast in the world — like the Riviera, Palm Beach or Miami Beach, Cape Cod or Waikiki.” He began by promoting himself as a freelance writer, photographer and publicist, picking up clients like the Morehead City Chamber of Commerce. He also started penning a column, “Covering the Waterfront,” which ran in newspapers across North Carolina, tackling any and every coastal story no matter how remote. He wrote of the bounties of Currituck duck hunters, the latest Oregon Inlet charter boat hauls and local events from Atlantic Beach to the Virginia line.

Recognizing the potential, the Dare County Chamber of Commerce formed the Dare County Tourist Bureau and hired Aycock Brown as its first director and only staff member. His budget? A whopping $10,000 — $3,500 of it for photography. For Brown, that was plenty. He immediately moved his family to Manteo and went to work, snapping shots, filing pieces and emphasizing every asset of his new home. In 1953, he made sure news of the 50th Anniversary Wright Brothers Celebration flew as far as Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia. (The Outer Banks History Center boasts 141 newspaper clippings covering the event, with a total circulation of 16,191,323.)

Sixteen years later, on July 20, 1969, Brown As Brown’s column grew crammed as many in popularity, private locals and tourists and a necklace of cameras, businesses across the inside the monument’s coast began seeking his visitor center along Brown was notorious for words and photos. One with their television of his first local clients sets. He took photos of showing up anywhere. was Nags Head’s The the awe-struck crowd Carolinian Hotel, which he surrounding glowing helped turn into an elite screens then quietly hot spot for movers and shakers in politics and slipped off with a radio and a camera. The second journalism. Then, in 1949, the Lost Colony hired Neil Armstrong took his giant leap for mankind, Brown to boost lagging, post-war sales. He began Brown snapped one of his most most famous flooding newspapers with publicity shots of the photos, framing a shining crescent hanging above actors in costume, including more than one Indian the Wright Brothers Monument. maiden. By 1952 the Coastland Times declared But crowds and press junkets are easy to put the outdoor drama was once more “Roanoke together in July. Brown knew he needed ways to Island’s economic mainstay.” extend the season — especially spring — so in Brown’s inventive flair and sense for promotion April 1955 he billed the Annual Pirate’s Jamboree only helped bolster his reputation. When a as “the biggest festival-like celebration of its kind Category 4 hurricane formed off Florida in August ever attempted on the coast of Dare.” of 1949, he rounded up as many mainland Festivities included dune buggy races in Hatteras, journalists as he could and lodged them at skiing down Jockey’s Ridge, and a waterfront boat The Carolinian Hotel to await the hurricane’s impending arrival — then trudged them up Jockey’s race in downtown Manteo. Residents participated by manicuring facial hair and making costumes Ridge for a front-row view. Of course, the storm for a “Pirates Ball” at the Nags Head Casino. All a never hit, but the headlines did. The following half-century before Ocracoke’s current incarnation. year, Warner Twyford of The Virginian Pilot wrote By 1960, the event was a smash, with TV cameras a feature titled “Mr. Carolina Banks” with the subhead, “Publicist Aycock Brown Even Ballyhooed and a promotional trip to Richmond, to meet the governor. But a few years later, the party a Storm.” ended. According to Aycock Brown’s Outer Banks, By 1952 Aycock Brown had been promoting the “Businessmen tired of growing beards and the North Carolina coast for more than 20 years purpose — getting the tourist season started early and the economy of Dare County had reached a — had been accomplished.” crossroads. Overfishing threatened the commercial Brown, however, never stopped powering. When a seafood industry. And, with the war over, US big local event came up, he promoted it to papers Coast Guard stations began closing across North Carolina. America’s middle-class families, however, to draw the max number of visitors. When a real disaster struck — like 1962’s Ash Wednesday were booming. So were their incomes. And the Outer Banks’ rustic beaches were primed and Storm — he documented the dark news just as ready for summer vacations. doggedly as any fluff piece. And when there wasn’t

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anything concrete to promote, he simply made something up. Decked out in his trademark Panama hat, occasionally loud outfits and a long necklace of multiple cameras, Brown was notorious for shooting anything and showing up everywhere. “He is like a wraith,” noted Richard Gonder, public editor for The Virginian Pilot. “In the shadows of Hatteras Light one minute, and within the blink of an eye, he pops up at Oregon Inlet.” Indeed. Brown knew more than anyone that big shiny fish were newspaper gold. Whenever the shore or docks were landing huge numbers, he was right there to record the bounty. (He is even credited as being the first to describe massive schools of migrating blue fish as a “blitz.”) He also took countless images of young vacationers enjoying the beach. And when a pretty girl passed by, he was always happy to suggest she strike a pose. More importantly, Brown found out where each subject lived. The moment he walked out of the dark room, he sent the photos straight to their hometown newspapers — along with every other news outlet in his Rolodex.

Main images: Aycock Brown rubbed shoulders with heads of state — such as North Carolina Governors Terry Sanford, Luther Hodges and Dan Moore [top] — and journalism legends like New York Times outdoor editor, John Randolph. Inset: The trademark hat and cameras still cast a long shadow. Photos: Courtesy of Outer Banks History Center.

Gonder continues: “He has decorated more sand hills and beds of sea oats with beautiful girls, and has taken more pictures of more fish from more angles with more happy sportsmen than probably anyone in the world. These have been published — thousands upon thousands of them.” And that only made the next shoot even easier. As local photographer and protégé Lisa Griggs remembers: “…if Aycock showed up, people knew they were going to be in the paper, and that was the next best thing to stardom.” In 1976, Brown would retire from his official post. But he never stopped shooting and sharing his images until his passing in 1984. Today, the Outer Banks remains a coastal superstar, much of it thanks to Brown’s singular vision and personal style of photography. Not because his images are always so flawlessly composed but because they’re so perfectly genuine. “His enthusiasm for the Outer Banks…springs from devotion,” wrote former Hampton Roads TV WTKR News Editor Jim Mays. “No, not devotion… Pure, unadulterated, passionate, eternal love.” And that’s what makes them so timeless.

For more on Aycock Brown and his influence, read Aycock Brown’s Outer Banks, edited by David Stick, with essays by all the preceding colleagues and more. Better yet, visit the Outer Banks History Center and experience Brown’s photos firsthand, along with everything from letters to audio interviews.

— Shawna Hubbard milepost 27

! N W O R G E V ’ E W W O H MY,

Wanna know how big our beach has gotten? Let your fingers do some walking down memory lane.

Forget photos. Or almanacs. Or even census reports. If you really want to see how the Outer Banks has changed over the past 50 years, check this Kill Devil Hills phone book from 1954. From the sheer lack of listings — 207 total, stretched over a whopping two pages — to the sheer wackiness of the instructions, it’s a stark reminder of how far our little coastal community has come. (And how far we haven’t.)



28 milepost 28 milepost




2 gohunt


Wondering what year the Outer Banks first got telephones? So are we. But if sections like “How to Dial A Number” are any indication, it can’t have been long. (‘Dial each figure of the number consecutively… within a few seconds you should hear an intermittent burr-rring sound.’) Hell, just check the name of the company: Norfolk & Carolina Telephone & Telegraph. Now you know why granny can’t unlock her smart phone. (Or won’t even unplug it.)





252’S BEEN 86’D Most folks remember when the Outer Banks’ area code was still 919. But can you imagine a world without exchanges? No 480s or 441s? (Much less the 305s, 202’s and other cellular favorites.) It all hearkens back to a time when digits were as short, sweet and personal as an ATM PIN code — and phoning Manteo or Hatteras racked up a charge.


SIGN OF THE DEVIL Dialing “6” doesn’t just get callers “over the bridge,” it also connects to Information, the Fire Department and the US Coast Guard. Dial “6” three times in a row, you get the Park Service. (Just kidding…just kidding…)




Some buildings are gone but not forgotten (Arlington Hotel, The Carolinian, Nags Head Casino). Some we may never know actually existed (Klark’s Kottage?). But more than a few of these icons remain from Kellogg’s Building Supply to Wink’s Beach Mart. And even if they’ve altered their names (Kitty Hawk United Methodist Parsonage) shifted places (First Colony Inn, Gray’s) or look totally different (Jennette’s Pier), 60 years later they still ring true.



Of 207 listings, a mere 97 connect to an actual household. The other 110 are businesses, churches or government services. In fact, year-round residents are so rare they put an “r” next to the name, reflecting a simpler time when the grapevine was still the preferred method of communication — and calling vacation rentals “tourist homes” was still totally PC.



Scan for residents, you’ll see lots of Outer Banks nobility, including three Midgetts, four Beechams five Tillets, and a whopping six Perrys. Still, even most stately lineages boast just one listing. (Prank calls must’ve been hell on poor Mr. Pugh.)




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CALL ME, JIM Back in the 50s, phone books were so new and neighborly, folks still used their nicknames so you knew how to find ’em — just ask old “Bat” Taylor, here. Makes you long for a Beach Book full of casual handles like “Skillet,” “Stoney,” “Trick,” and “Buttboy.” (Then again, maybe not.)




Want proof there is order in the Outer Banks universe? The first listing under Dare County is the ABC Store — the second is the Police Station.




Here’s a quick history lesson: back in ’54, Kitty Hawk wasn’t just a high school — it was the only beach school. Period.

WHERE THE STREETS HAVE YOUR NAME Many paved surfaces began as real people, from Dean to Hayman to Hollowell. Dig deeper and you can even find out some occupations. For example, before the Baums stood up for dunes, they rented beach accessories. And Dr. Mustian was a smiling neighborhood dentist. milepost 29

FLASH FORWARD illuminating aycock brown’s photos with five modern perspectives “You’ll never make anything of my life. It’s a perfect muddle.”

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Apparently, that’s what Aycock Brown once told Lawrence Maddry, back when the long-time Virginia columnist was just a young beat reporter for The Coastland Times. And he was absolutely right. Not only does the legendary photog’s bio and work blend together to create a flawlessly motley collage — it’s one you simply can’t do justice from a single person’s perspective. That’s why we asked several experts — from tourism officials to historians to photographers to old friends — to offer their take on some of Brown’s more telling images. Flip through, we promise you’ll agree that for every piece of Outer Banks history there’s a long-term impact on modern life. Chances are you’ll also see something of yourself.

County Commissioner Warren Judge describes how Brown’s work paved the way to a new economy.


We don’t think about this much, but economic development is nothing new. During the Great Depression, people in DC — the President and Congress — knew the Outer Banks was a vacation destination. Or it could be. It was an island, but access was feasible through ferryboats and, eventually, bridges. So the federal government cleared the beach and built the dunes to offer a sense of protection and an attraction for people to develop. What happened on this island was basically another federal stimulus package to give the people who lived here something to do other than crab or fish or build boats. So Aycock Brown was tourism promotion before tourism promotion was even organized. He spent his mornings shooting photos and afternoons knocking on businesses’ doors so he could pay salaries. And sometimes I wonder: Was it his publicity background that made him so successful? Or did he just get it? I think he just got it. Because somehow he knew what would whet people’s appetite. He could capture the excitement of a fishing charter or a day at the beach just by the looks on their faces. And that became the Outer Banks’ calling card.

And we’ve come a long way in the 60 or so years since these photos were taken. Today, the tourism economy helps provide services to sustain the 33,000 people that live here — and the 300,000 people visiting. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll drive up and down the road very fast in summertime, but you do have a road out there. And a bridge. And you will get from Duck to Hatteras Village. It may take you a while, but you’ll get there. It’s a shame I didn’t have these pictures several years ago in DC. Because when you look, those people aren’t all vacationers. They’re locals. Those ladies in dresses and men in suits might be boarding a ferry to get to the doctor or visit family. And a big part of our story when we’re talking to legislators about access — the beaches, the roads, the inlets — is that it’s not just about tourism. People living here need the infrastructure to care for themselves, long before the first cash register rings.

“That damn bridge.” The ongoing delay over replacing Oregon Inlet’s span is a cause of constant frustration for Judge and his colleagues, but the old days often required even more patience. Top left: Once upon a time, all Outer Banks vacations began with a cruise. From 1946 to 1956, the Governor Umstead ferry crossed Croatan Sound to connect Manteo with the mainland. Bottom left: Starting in 1938, Anderson and Stockton Midgett provided a reliable, bouncing, bus ride from Manteo to Hatteras — no pavement necessary. Bottom right: Hatteras Island residents made sure the Oregon Inlet ferry spent its nights on the south side so they wouldn’t have to wait in the morning. (But that didn’t always keep cars from getting stuck). Circa 1950. Middle right: When Bonner Bridge opened in 1963, traffic across Oregon Inlet exploded from 2000 people to 14,000 cars per day — and a new Kodak moment was born, from slide film to cell phones. Top right: In 1957, the William B. Umstead bridge made the ferry obsolete — until 2002 when the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge became the quicker shortcut, and Mann’s Harbor’s span reverted back to a local scenic route.

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From fish photos to Facebook, Lee Nettles explains how hooking visitors is just half the job for any tourism director.

You can’t just copy other places and expect good results. Aycock Brown understood that from the beginning. He knew to highlight the things that make us a unique destination. An 800-pound blue marlin does that, right? But a big draw for the Outer Banks is just its lack of pretense. Aycock helped portray that. He also helped manifest that sense of authenticity we still see today.

The biggest change between then and now is the rise of social media and usergenerated content. Our Facebook page has nearly 600,000 fans — it’s bigger than the state of North Carolina’s. They all have a love for our area. My job is to give them a place to share that love. To post their own photos or take selfies. I want them all to have a chance to be Aycock Brown.

That’s why the Wright Brothers celebration remains a huge part of the Outer Banks. That’s why we still use Lost Colony photos in our visitors’ program. That’s the reason the seafood festival was so popular from the get-go. It’s individual restaurants, creative chefs and working watermen. It’s a real representation of who we are. And to me, Kelly’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is the same draw today as the Pirates Jamboree was decades ago — it’s gone from three days to three hours — but what other event do you get that magnitude of classic locals together?

I do kind of pine for those days when a single image might get picked up by national media and go across the country. But it’s still the same game: giving people visual clues and distinctions and reasons to plan a vacation. It’s figuring out how to reach a target audience with the money available. It’s building relationships with folks — which Aycock was apparently great at. But what is most consistent from then ’til today is that people feel very passionately about the Outer Banks. They always have, and I think Aycock did, as well. He worked the show — but he wasn’t some corporate tool, either.

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Top left: In the early 50s, only the very wealthy could afford their own airplane — guaranteeing a full military salute to the Wright Brothers every December 17. Bottom left: Pirates Jamboree, 1951. Over the next decade this April celebration grew to be a local favorite, full of facial hair, fisherman pride and sailing regattas from Hatteras to Manteo. Bottom right: Camera of the Gods. Professional Theater Workshops still give summer actors something to play besides settlers and Indians. Middle right: Why pray for visitors when you can bless the hounds? From the mid-40s to early 70s, Dare County front-loaded tourist season with an annual Valentine’s Day Fox Hunt. Top right: When it comes to non-beach attractions, the Lost Colony reigns supreme, much of it due to local talent like Cora Mae Basnight, whose Agona kept audiences clapping for 25 years.

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Noted NC historian Kevin Duffus discusses how documenting daily challenges made the Outer Banks irresitable.

One thing many people share with Aycock Brown is that he came from somewhere else and quickly became infected by this love of the landscape. The wildness of it. The legacy of shipwrecks and heroic rescues and storms. And this incredible history.

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Of course, in the old days most people passed the Outer Banks by water so they were very familiar with Cape Hatteras — mainly because it was something they had to avoid. Today the Outer Banks is a place you try to get to. Aycock Brown did a lot to make it that way. He made it such an interesting place, it became almost impossible to resist. And part of that intrigue — that mystery and appeal — was the fact that the Outer Banks were on the precipice of danger. People who lived here had to confront nature and weather on a daily basis. It was a space unlike anywhere in America in terms of all of the good things and bad things that could happen.

SELLING THE DRAMA Having to fight storms and to survive was common. Shipwrecks were pretty frequent. And word would spread up and down Hatteras because the ships would offer something that would benefit the families: food, furniture or building materials. It would go from this idyllic, beautiful island to being one of the most deadly places you can imagine. So the people, especially the native islanders — and the people who had been going there for many years and had property there — were very resilient. That’s what I see in these photos in particular. That man smiling? He’s saying “We’re gonna be alright. We’re gonna persevere. We’re gonna be back just the way we’ve always been.” He was selling the drama, really. But I imagine if you could interview Aycock Brown about how he went about promoting the attributes of the Outer Banks, he would say that he simply tried to present it in its simplest form. The Outer Banks he knew was such a simple, raw, beautiful, unspoiled place. And that’s what makes his images so appealing.

According to Duffus, “Nobody else was covering the Outer Banks from a news perspective.” So when disaster struck, Brown was there to get the goods — and the bads. Top: 1962’s Ash Wednesday Storm remains the nastiest nor’easter in memory. Brown helped secure that reputation by naming the tempest and recording its full impact — from weathering nature’s fury to rebuilding efforts to all the lighter moments in-between. Bottom left: As the site of so many afternoon landings and happy memories, Oregon Inlet was never far from Brown’s mind. In the wake of Ash Wednesday, he bailed on the beach to see how his second home fared — and hauled in some of his most haunting images. Bottom right: When the Oriental foundered off Bodie Island, this shot of a Coast Guard rescue won two national prizes for news photography. Proof that Aycock Brown didn’t need hurricane hype to make headlines. (Sorry, Cantore.)

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THE LITTLE TREASURES Aycock loved taking pictures of anything beautiful. Nature. Flowers. Once he took a photo of a rose I grew that was 18-inches across — it ended up in a newspaper all the way in New York. And, yes, he loved taking pictures of the girls. This young lady might have been working in the office at the Elizabethan Gardens that day, and Aycock simply said, “Mind if I take your picture?” But he knew a pretty girl posing on a piece of driftwood or playing beach ball would get printed somewhere. You have to remember the times. Even in the early 70s, it was still very much a man’s world. I used to model for the fashion shows at the Galleon Esplanade, and if a photo ran in the paper, the caption always said, “Mrs. Budgie Sadler” or “Mrs. E.L. Sadler.” It would never just say, “Anna Sadler.” But there was never anything sexist about Aycock Brown. He never talked down to a woman. If we were having a conversation, he gave women in the group the same time

Onetime model turned long-time commissioner Anna Sadler reflects on Aycock Brown’s eye for beauty.

and attention as he would any man. And he was very involved in helping women get jobs that were normally for men — and in women’s rights, politically. I can only imagine if he were alive today, how happy he would be to see all the female doctors, lawyers, legislators and governors. He would be thrilled. But Aycock never promoted just one thing about the Outer Banks. He photographed everything possible. Because he found everything about it interesting. Whether it was fishing or a landscape or a monument somewhere, Aycock always made you feel as if you had to go see it for yourself. That was his real gift. His pictures reached up and grabbed you because that’s what reached up and grabbed him. And whatever grabbed him, he simply had to get that message out — not only the beauty of the Outer Banks, but its historical significance. Everything really. He loved all the little treasures.

Brown knew a pretty girl was the ultimate eye-catcher. Says Sadler: “Were the photos posed? Sometimes. Tacky? Sure. But he always got your attention.” Top left: “On second thought, Martha, maybe I will go see that dumb play.” This late-40s publicity shot for the Lost Colony guaranteed couples seating for years to come. Bottom left: Even today, magazine print cycles demand summery shots in the middle of April. Brown armed himself with an arsenal of cold-resistant vixens and sunny, soundside beaches to ensure a healthy invasion of July 4 visitors. Bottom middle: A life-long nature lover, one of Brown’s favorite stomping grounds was the Elizabethan Gardens — and he never failed to capture a flower in bloom. Bottom right: Brown recognized the power of a swimsuit competition back when they were still evening gowns. Beaufort beachscape, circa 1940. Top right: In the 70s, the Galleon Esplanade’s spring and fall fashion shows were the place to be. The styles were hot. The champagne was chilled. And Brown was always on hand to serve up a taste of the big city. Anna Sadler strikes a pose. milepost


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Friend and photography protégé Vanessa Foreman describes Aycock’s natural talent and lasting gifts.

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To me, all of Aycock’s photos are human interest. He tried to pull the character out, like a Norman Rockwell painting. I remember once he took me on assignment. He drove me to a drawbridge that was being repaired, stopped the car and said, “Go down that ladder and take a picture of the guys working.” They were just smiling and welding — just regular folk — but it ended up on the front page. We were actually next door neighbors. I was interested in photography, so he taught me to develop film. It was the most amazing thing. I was a single mom at the time and that helped me create a career. Just from what he taught me, I was able to work for The Coastland Times for years. When Aycock decided he didn’t want to shoot the catches at Oregon Inlet anymore, I took over. I made a very nice income for my son and me, selling photos to fishermen.

THE HUMAN ELEMENT Aycock was a great photographer. He knew how to compose images. He understood lighting. I remember he shot large-format, square slides so he probably only had 15 shots to play with. These days, you can fire off 300 shots until you get what you want, or Photoshop out what you don’t like later on. But I think we’re more critical now, too. Our expectations are higher. Before, you took a picture for your own heart and it was good. Now, it’s almost like everyone’s competing for a prize. You know, I don’t think we ever had a conversation about why he shot what he shot. But last winter I posted some photos from Mexico and a friend said, “It’s freezing up here. Thanks for reminding us there’s warm weather ahead.” That’s really what Aycock did: he gave people hope. I don’t know what he’d do today. All I know is I sure do miss him. There aren’t many Aycock Browns. Do you know of any?

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According to Foreman, “Aycock loved preserving old times; the way things were back when.” Today, his images help shed light on the way things still are. Top left: Nowadays, the marlin would go right back in the ocean. The photo would fly up on Instagram. But the excitement of a big day offshore stays very much the same. Bottom left: Local figures can be more imposing than the biggest fish. This circa-’58 candid from the Pirates Jamboree catches long-time fixtures Orville Baum (left), Julian Oneto (middle) and Pat Bayne (right). Bottom right: In the 70s, Rodanthe’s Old Christmas was more of a bar scene. Boys fought. Girls flirted. But Old Buck was still the life of the party. Middle right: When Brown wasn’t selling the fantasy, he was celebrating reality. The car’s no Corvette. The lady’s showing more miles than skin. But the photo itself is still sexy as hell. Top right: The Kitty Hawk Surf Club promoted beach clean-ups and water safety years before the ESA and Surfrider. Circa 1965.

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Celie Florence discusses the world of prize canines, and what goes into a winning pooch. “She wants her busy bee!” “Go get her busy bee!” For most humans, the world of championship dog competition will be forever associated with the hilarious hit movie, Best in Show, where the dysfunctional handlers and owners bark louder (and spaz harder) than any prize-winning pooch. Well, we’re sorry to disappoint, but Celie Florence is nothing like those people. Of course, the long-time breeder and Southern Shores resident is enthusiastic about creating winning canines, but she’s decidedly calm in her approach. The biggest difference between the film and real life? Florence’s dogs actually win. A lot.

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Over the past 30 years, her Telltale English Springer Spaniels have cranked out more blue ribbons than a Pabst cannery, including their latest superdog, Telltale American Ride — aka “Randy.” Not only is he ranked as the nation’s number one sporting dog, but he also earned Best in Breed at the prestigious 2014 Westminster Kennel Club and finished 4th in the Sporting Group — just one round shy of the main event. Not that Florence is bothered. “Most dogs never get that far, so I’m thrilled,” she says. “But then I still cry when a puppy wins its first points.” With Florence and Randy taking another shot at Westminster this February, we sat down for a glance inside the biz. Turns out it’s nothing like Hollywood’s version — except for the parts that are.

MILEPOST: How did you get into breeding? CELIE FLORENCE: I grew up showing horses in Richmond, but that became too expensive, so in 1969 I started breeding dogs. I began with Great Danes — but their lifespan was just way too short. Too heartbreaking. Then I had Welsh Springer Spaniels, but their breeding lines were too close, so they had health problems. In 1985, I switched to English Springer Spaniels. I partnered up with a very reputable breeder in Michigan named Delores Strang, who started Telltale Kennels. I had the farm; she had the experience. Our very first dog was a national champion. And that started a dynasty. Judges can go all across this country and pick out a Telltale dog, because we have a type. How do they judge? We have a standard that says to breed to certain specifications. Bitches have to be 18 inches at the shoulder and males can’t be over 21. The head is supposed to be level, the shoulder has a degree of back angle and the forward legs come out a certain way. But! We’re all human. So we take those

specifications and mold it into something that we like. You can end up with very different Springers. Some are “Settery” — taller and leaner like an Irish Setter. We’re known for having very “Spanielly” Springers — a dog bred more to the classic style — like George W. Bush had. When people ask what kind of dog I have, I tell them, “It’s Millie.” [laughs]

“If someone is too showy, they’re doing it wrong.”

How do you make that happen? Is it a visual thing? Do you just look at a female dog and a male dog and imagine what’s going to come out? Yes. Well, at least that’s where you start. You match dog for dog to see what traits you want to combine, and then you look at pedigrees to see what’s back in their lineages in order to make sure they’re not too closely related. Then you research health clearances: Did any dogs in their line have bad eyes or hips? Have they ever had seizures? Then you go into temperament: Did they behave? Did they ever bite anyone? You make sure all that’s okay before you ever begin breeding. It should be a lengthy progress. But a lot of times if you like a dog, you’ll get more characteristics from the dog’s father and the bitch’s mother. So, they say, “If you like the son, breed to the father. If you like the bitch, get a puppy from her mother.” So, are you always trying to make the next champion? That’s the idea. We’ve been lucky. Our first dog, Royal Stuart, was the number one sporting dog in the country. He won the national championship three times and had 67 Best in Shows — more than any Springer at the time. Then came Eclipse Zieck, who was the number one Springer for two years in a row. Telltale Salute was the next great one. He had something like 48 Best in Shows, won the national and was the number one

sporting dog in the country. And now Randy. He’s two years old and already has 13 Best in Shows and has won his group 75 times. He also won Best in Breed at Westminster and was the fourth dog picked in the sporting group. Had he won that he would’ve gone on to compete for Best in Show. Was that tough? Yes. And no. As long as my dog looks the best he can and shows well, I’m just as happy. Disappointed? Yes. Mad at my handler or mad at my dog? Never. Besides, one of our dogs sired the winner in 2007, so there’s always hope.

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How many will Randy do in a year? Ten shows? Twelve? Oh no. They’ll do three shows a weekend — sometimes four — and that’s almost every weekend. I raise them until it’s time to go to work, then our long-time handler, Robin Novak, takes them on the road. I go to 15 or 16 shows a year and I see him then. He comes back to the hotel with me, and he gets so excited. He knows he’s mine.

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You’ve obviously seen the movie Best in Show, where all the handlers and breeders go crazy. That can’t be real, right? You’d be surprised. I guess it’s more of a blend of people, but there are parts that are very realistic. The part where the woman leaves her husband for the handler? That happens all the time. And people definitely freak out. Who’s more worked up — the dogs or the humans? Definitely the humans. And that’s the sign of a good handler: you should never, ever notice the person on the end of the lead. You should always notice the dog. If the handler is too showy, they’re doing it wrong. So does Randy know when he wins? Oh yeah. Totally. What about when he loses? Not really. He still gets his treat. [laughs] — Gerry Fleck


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We believe hospice is about living.

It’s not what you think. Photo: C. White

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If you or a family member have a life limiting illness, the time to talk about it is NOW!

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Serving Dare, Hyde & Tyrrell Counties

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HOT HEALTHY milepost GOODNESS Looking for a natural energy drink? Take a sip of mate.


It steams. Like a cup of tea. But invigorates like a polar plunge. Portable enough for just one person, yet warms crowds as fast as a toasty campfire. It’s called “mate.” (Pronounced “mah-tay”.) And after centuries of popularity in South America, domestic hot-drink enthusiasts are turning on to its combo of energetic buzz, herbal flavor, healthy ingredients and a feel-good ritual where everyone sips and socializes.



“The drink is literally about the act itself,” says Outer Banks native Stevi Vaughn, who spent four years living in Argentina. “It’s something anyone can do; you can’t tell someone’s class, or if


they’re rich or poor. It’s all about sharing with others.”

antioxidants than green tea, making it a go-to alternative for health-conscious coffee fiends.

Found in the sub-tropical forests of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina — where mate is the “national infusion” — explorers first learned of this holly tree relative in the 16th century. Indigenous peoples pounded the leaves to make a drink, then served it in a calabash gourd they passed around a roaring fire. In the native Quichua language, mati means “drinking receptacle.” Today, mate is the general term for the cup, its contents and the consumption process itself.

“I first shared mate with my business partner at a barbecue almost 20 years ago,” says David Karr, co-founder of America’s only “fair-trade” Yerba Mate brand, Guayaki. “Afterwards I felt better than ever. For the first time my head felt completely clear, something I had only previously experienced through exercise.”

Think of it as a natural drink you make and serve in personal portions. Simply pack the yerba — herb — into a gourd, add enough hot water for one serving, then pass it to the intended recipient. That person drinks from a flared, straw-shaped metal filter — called a bombilla — and passes it back to be refilled for the next person. But taking mate is more than just slurping herb-juice and sending it around a circle. It’s a custom steeped in ritual. “The person who packs the gourd and covers the yerba with hot water is called the cebador,” says Mike Rowe, who first tried mate in Costa Rica and now has a special machine next to his shaping bay at 158 Surf & Skate. “When he passes you the gourd you must look him in the eye and completely finish what you have been given.”

Mate boasts twice the caffeine as a can of Coke Classic.

In South America, athletes actually take mate before playing soccer or surfing. Here, it’s a prefect option for cool weather activities like hunting, fishing and camping — any social outing where you might tote a thermos. And unlike most energy drinks, mate won’t leave you suffering from side effects such as jitters, mood swings and post-stimulation fatigue. “It’s great for warming your body and getting your heart going before any activity,” remarks Linnekin. “I’ve never felt like I couldn’t sleep or relax after drinking it.”

Visit anywhere in South America and you’ll see people swapping gourds on park benches and busses. Gauchos drink it before morning cattle drives and again in the middle of the day while working in the fields. Office workers might take mate all day long. They’re all seeking an alternate form of caffeine with a more earthy, herbal flavor.

Don’t believe him? Test-drive some yourself. Coffee shops like Morning View and Front Porch serve mate lattes; Fresh Market sells the mighty leaf by the pound, complete with instructions for your coffee maker. (Karr recommends a French press to fully extract all the goodness from the leaves.)

“It’s definitely an acquired taste,” says frequent South American traveler, Erik Linnekin, who came across mate while surfing in Chile. “Somewhat bitter — very concentrated.”

Or visit 158 Surf & Skate on “Mate Wednesday” for a free cup. And when you’re ready to start your own chimarrão circle, Mike has the gourds — and the info. He’ll fill you in on what to do, from packing to pouring to passing. And maybe a few things to avoid.

Mate boasts twice the caffeine as a can of Coke Classic — 85mg per 8oz cup — but boosts metabolism with minerals like chromium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. Plus it has more


“Americans always like to say ‘thank you’ between sips,” he explains. “Don’t. That actually means you no longer wish to partake.” — Fran Marler


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It’s 7pm and the Spiritual 80s are late. Don’t worry: this isn’t some tired tale of an upstart band that finds popularity, parties too hard then loses the plot. Nor is it another case of inflamed egos making a once-hungry group fashionably indifferent about meeting the press. No, for this five-piece family band, the go-to libation is a bottle of pop — and nobody is ever too cool for school.

Step aside Sly: Fred III, Jasnee, Fred Jr. and Keontre are always a stone groove. Photo: Daniel Pullen

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You couldn’t pick a more fitting introduction. The Spiritual 80s’ whole musical foundation comes from practicing hard and playing at home. With tunes piping through the house from the moment they were born, Mills’ kids were all hitting keys, pounding drums or singing hymns by the time they were six, inspiring the family to play church socials around their hometown of Greenville.


“We all have to like it,” says Jasnee. “And if we like it, we learn it. Then we do it.” That’s where Fred III and Keontre get to work. They may young, but with a lifetime of experience — plus a couple years playing with First Flight High’s Jazz Band — the two boys have plenty of chops to figure out fresh tunes.


In 2012, they moved to Kill Devil Hills. Suddenly, instead of a college town filled with frat houses, Fred saw family-friendly venues like festivals, wedding receptions and outdoor patios. He also saw room in the local lineup for something besides straightforward pop, rock and country covers.


“It takes us about a hour or two,” says Fred III. “Once my brother and I get the music down, we bring in the drums, then the vocals. Then we rehearse until we know we can perform it live.”

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That February, they snagged a last-minute spot in Roanoke Island’s Annual Freedman’s Colony Blues Jam. Two years later, spring and fall are full of marriage ceremonies. Summer evenings sizzle from Avon’s Froggy Dog to Manteo’s First Friday to Fishhead’s in Nags Head. And every show they convert new fans with an infectious mix of positive vibes and multi-cultural musical styles. Fifties doo-wop. Sixties soul. Seventies reggae. Eighties R&B. All served up with a heap of charisma.


Strolling out on Outer Banks Fishing Pier, the floorboards twist to Chubby Checker. The pilings rock to Huey Lewis. Benches and barstools stay crowded with would-be back-up singers, crooning along to Phil Collins. A former

Barstools stay crowded with crooning, would-be back-up singers.

“Sorry, we’re running behind,” says frontman and father Fred Mills Jr. as his bandmates file behind, toting big smiles, gig bags and — in one case — a fat stack of books. “Kids had to finish their homework first.”

“I said, ‘Hey guys, you want to do some 80s music? Some 70s music?’” Fred Jr. recalls. “And the kids were, like, ‘Sure Dad, let’s do it. We’re already playing anyway.’”

But the jams only sound casual. When not playing out, the family practices at home — at least four hours a night. And they don’t just noodle alone in a room by themselves — they perform each song as if they were rocking it live. Then they pick what tune to do next. It might be T- Pain. Or it might be Temptations. It might even be Justin Timberlake. In this band, there are no musical limits. Except one.


The Spiritual 80s share old-school soul, upbeat jams and strong bonds. minister, Fred Jr. works with the crowd, telling them to hang up the phone and get on the dance floor. Lots of times, he lets the audience pick the next song — “You wanna hear some Al Green? Or you wanna hear Florida Georgia Line?” — then stands back and smiles as his kids kick in the beat. Nevermind that most winning tunes are twice the age of every player. Almost. “Hey!” laughs 25-year-old drummer and adopted son, Kizen Saunders, “at least I was born in the 80s.”

The other three Mills kids are finishing high school or just starting college. Keyboard player Fred Mills III just turned 19. Vocalist Jasnee is 18. Keontre is just 17— and he just switched from drums to guitar two years ago. Now he’s ripping solos ala the Commodores, or opening cool leads to Clapton covers — even originals like “Outer Banks, We Love You,” a breezy, Motownstyle crowd-pleaser that pays tribute to every town from Corolla to Hatteras.

At least they used to. This fall, Jasnee and Fred III went back to Greenville to continue college. Meanwhile, Fred Jr. and Keontre plan to keep on grooving. Hunkered down in a new home in Waves, the father and son are already lining up Hatteras Island gigs. In addition, Fred’s putting the finishing touches on a solo gospel effort, The Apostle 2.0. Come spring, they’ll decide what’s next for the Spiritual 80s. Will they spend another summer lighting up clubs and parties, Monday through Sunday? Converge for weekends? Or branch out into different musical projects? “That’s up to them,” says Fred Jr. “As long as they want to do this, we’ll do this. And if they have other ventures — hey, that’s cool, too. It’s all part of growing up. And it’s all good.” — Leo Gibson milepost 45

artisticlicense Bold strokes. Easy nature. Francis surrounds himself with recent works and a relaxed setting. Photo: Chris Hannant

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Save the Date Eclectic food pairings North Carolina wines Music & Dancing More details to come....

upfront soundcheck getactive startingpoint THE YOUNG MASTER

Torin Francis’ oil paintings reflect the talent and maturity of a Renaissance man. And he’s only 26.


There is an electric hum somewhere inside this Manteo attic apartment. The kind so common in old houses that it blends in like white noise. But here, your ears pick up on it. Here, it is the only audible sound as you stare at the walls in silence. Captivated. Not by the boards buzzing somewhere behind the walls, but by what’s hanging on them: drawings, wood burnings, intricately decorated gourds. Profiles sketched in charcoal. Rich oil paintings in elaborate frames. A trove of remarkable talent that touches on cultures past and present. All displayed with quiet humility. Much like the artist himself.



rin Francis in a slow, contemplative cadence. “There is good to be done every day; there are people to inspire and uplift. As we do this, our ability grows.” Francis may be the poster child for not prejudging appearances. To strangers, his striking features and quiet nature could register as conceited. The long hair, casual clothes and relaxed manner of speech might suggest stoner. But neither label could be any less fitting. Francis is sober. Smart. And most of all, shy. Even self-critical. Particularly about his work, almost all of which lives in the privacy of his home or his website. Even thoughts he keeps to himself, offering commentary only when prompted.


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“I believe that any artistic ability is a gift from God and my beliefs help me see that I should use my talents for good,” says 26-year-old To-


“So many things influence my art,” he says. “Maybe too many. But if you could view it collectively you’d find some common threads.” Like reoccurring colors. (Recently, he’s taken a shine to a bright red-orange.) Certain body poses. A fondness for foreign cultures. And a classic style you might find on the ceilings of Roman churches. (Exactly what one might expect from a man raised in a traditional Mormon family among six other siblings, and whose mom is a native Argentine.) Still, the subjects themselves are a motley assortment of mermaids, mountain folk, flamenco dancers and sea monsters. Or as he says — “I’m a little all over the place.” The perfect description for works that travel the

globe and across time. In some cases reaching back through entire geological eras. “The first artistic turning point I can think of was when Jurassic Park came out,” he laughs. “I was six years old. All I wanted to draw were dinosaurs, and I drew them quite well.” His talents evolved through adolescence. So did his tastes. In middle school he began drawing people. He soon impressed — even surpassed — his instructors with an ability to create original pieces depicting almost anything, entirely from his head. “Torin was more than different; he was phenomenal,” remembers Jenna Saunders, his art teacher from First Flight High School. I couldn’t really find much to suggest or critique with him, in fact, I often found myself asking, ‘How did you do that?’” Even Francis wasn’t quite sure. He didn’t really practice. Or study. He just created. Until he didn’t. For two years, he rarely picked up a brush, pen or sketchpad. When he finally returned to his easel, he did so with a fresh approach and a brand new medium. He started painting in oils and imitating great masters. He began by copying the style of Vincent Van Gogh before flattering others, like Anthony Thieme, Thomas Moran, Delacroix and Julio Romero de Torres. In some cases he even painted whole pieces. In just four short years, his works look like pages torn from a college textbook. All without the professors or credit hours. “I knew nothing about art history when I started with oils, and still my knowledge of it is spotty,” Francis admits. “But I am learning a lot by exploring different styles and mediums. I don’t even work that hard at it. I know I should, but I guess at some point during all that time not painting, I developed an appreciation for painting. It’s very much just in me. It’s odd.” It’s also unique. And it’s paying off with high praise. A pyrographed gourd depicting the sea creatures, legends and lore of the Atlantic recently earned him the Excellence Award for a Three-Dimensional Piece in the Outer Banks History Center and the Dare County Arts Council’s joint exhibit, “An Eye for Art, A Heart for History.” Last year he also won the

People’s Choice Award in the 2014 Frank Stick Memorial Art Show and the 17th annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show for two of his oil paintings. In an area dominated by happy beach scenes, he’s painting brooding figures on mountaintops and 19th century battle scenes.

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel to different places in recent years,” says Francis. “People, faces and ethnicities intrigue me, and the landscapes from which they come, too.”

He began by copying Van Gogh… In some cases he painted whole pieces.

Surprisingly, the one place he’s never really painted is his home. Funny when you consider he grew up playing on Southern Shores beaches. Today, he spends his days working outdoors as a groundskeeper. After hours, he surfs. Weekends and evenings, while his peers enjoy the partying nightlife, he’d rather camp out and wander the woods. But for all his appreciation for the Outer Banks’ natural beauty, Francis was always hesitant to explore his home artistically. Until now.

“I’ve always loved the forest here,” he says. “The swamp, the marsh and the ocean, but never really felt the desire to paint it. The galleries are so full of beach art, I guess it bored me. But I’m growing more excited about painting seascapes and marsh scenes.”

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Another year. Another influence. But as diverse as his subject matter may be — as mature his hand may seem — Francis says he’s far from finished. He considers this the “juvenile stage” of his career. In fact, he’s already planning his next evolutionary move. He now hopes to seek a formal education in drawing and painting. “I know I’ll have to work at it very hard to achieve the quality of work I want,” he says. “The kind I’ve seen in others. And that may be the real turning point.” — Hannah Bunn

MP 7 on


Bypass • Dare Center

3rd St. • KDH •

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Locals, find out for yourself what all the fuss is about! You’ve probably heard of it - and if you haven’t yet been a part of it, 2015 is the year to discover the foodie party that locals and visitors rave about year after year. A four day food festival that has grown to be recognized as one of the nation’s best. The Outer Banks Restaurant Association’s annual Taste of The Beach event is a fantastic way to sample the fare of many restaurants on the Outer Banks in one fun-filled, food-centric weekend!

photos OBRA/GingerSnaps photography

It all takes place over a 4-day weekend, March 19 th through 22nd, with events highlighting the best in Outer Banks FOOD DRINK and FUN. Enjoy multi-course wine dinners or an event that highlights the local spirit (and spirits!). Try a more casual tapas crawl or a group cook-off event. Wine pairings, brunches and dinner dances too. Or try a cooking class with one of the area’s talented chefs, if that is more your speed. We encourage you to bring your friends and invite your family. With so much to choose from there really is something for every taste and budget. Events and tickets begin posting in December and all events will be up just after the New Year. obxtasteofthebeach.com



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I remember the night the circus froze. The Ringling Brothers came every year on my birthday. We would always drive north to Virginia and celebrate with the lions and clowns. But this year I was turning 13. The circus was for children. And I was no child. I was a teenager. I was the bomb diggity. And I decided we would party at home instead.

But within a few hours, the air became wintery. The clean ocean lines began raging. The sky turned black and the shorepound shivered the timbers of our 100-year-old house. When the wood stove and spare sweatshirts were no help at all, Mom phoned each parent — presents, be damned — and as the last guest left, she announced, “We should go, too.”

Time — like a hangover — makes details fuzzy, but certain moments shine through with HD clarity. The day began sunny and warm. We hung streamers in t-shirts and 70-degree weather. At noon, the party guests arrived at our beach cottage to play games and eat cake. We baked in the sun and watched the boys from the village ride waves. Just a bunch of schoolgirls giggling like, well, schoolgirls.

That’s where things got tricky. Cracking the door to leave, the north wind near ripped the hinges and whooped through the house, funneling up the stairs and wreaking havoc. Grown-ups like me could still force our way out, pushing on walls and pulling down handrails like drunken mimes. But my brother was barely eleven. He was just a little guy.


“Brrrrrr... rabbit.” 1980’s beastly blizzard. Photo: Aycock Brown/Outer Banks History Center

So, Mom found a rope and tied it round his waist. We opened the door and watched as he stumbled outside and down the steps, grabbing the latticework while he wobbled and whirled toward the street. Lucky for him, Mom’s boyfriend caught him before he whooshed past and tossed him into the back of our 1976 Pinto wagon. Then me, four dogs, Mom and her boyfriend packed in behind and we headed for Avalon to batten down beneath thunderous clouds and a canvas of falling snow. The next day, we woke to 8-foot snowdrifts and word that the circus was still trapped inside Norfolk Scope. I have no clue how they got out. But I like to imagine the ringmaster ripping down the tightrope and tying up the whole big top. Elephants and tigers. Acrobats and trapeze artists. Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. Children of all ages. Then walking them like pachyderms over the ice. Trailing them behind like a bouquet of tumbling, somersaulting balloons. Before stuffing them on a train like an oversized clown car. — Hayes Reese


endnotes For this final act of the year, we’ll need a volunteer. Dare County is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. A local committee will select up to ten individuals, businesses or groups/teams. All nominations must be received by Dec. 1 at 5pm. Download forms at www.darenc.com, then drop them by Manteo’s Dare County Administration Building or Southern Shores’ Outer Banks Community Foundation. Or mail yours to P.O. Box 1000, Manteo, NC 27954, Attention: Governor’s Awards. • Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce… and maple syrup? Start a new Thanksgiving Day tradition by dashing down to the Hatteras Village Civic Center on Nov. 27 for the 3rd Annual Surfin’ Turkey 5k & Puppy Drum Fun Run, where post-race festivities include piping hot pancakes and ice-cold beer courtesy of Carolina Brewery. $30 for 5k; $15 for Fun Run. Kids 10 and under: free. Proceeds go to the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund. Sign up and learn more at www.hatterasyouth.com. • Or join the Outer Banks Gobbler 5k and Fun Run as they jog through The Village at Nags Head. Prizes awarded for best costume, family attire and — of course — finishing first. But you better move fast; registration closes Nov. 24. $30. Details at www.outerbanksrunningclub.org. • On your marks, get set — stay put! Sorry, speed freaks. Duck’s 19th Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot filled their 600-runner capacity in record time once again. But you can still go watch people pound the pavement to eat pumpkin pie and feed charitable deeds via the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Find out more at www.advice5.com. • Dive into Christmas early with Chicamacomico Life Station’s End of Season Festivities on Fri., Nov. 28. There’ll be goodies and prizes, pictures with Santa from 1-3pm — plus find out who won the Season Long Raffle. Free admission with your donation to the Hatteras Island Food Pantry — or $2 per person. Details at www.chicamacomico.net. • Meanwhile in Buxton, the annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Show runs at Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Nov. 28-29, with 50+ booths, food and plenty of present fodder. Find ’em on Facebook under Hatteras Island Arts & Craft Guild, Inc. • Done shopping? Boogie up to Avon for the beach music sounds of Jim Quick and Coastline when The Beach Klub Holiday Party shags itself silly on Nov. 28, 7-10pm. Tix: $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Get yours at Koru Village or online at www. brownpapertickets.com. • Nothing like fine wine to cure holiday headaches. Find out when Trio in Kitty Hawk hosts their Wine Spectator Top 100 Tasting. Come in Nov. 26 and Nov. 29 to test-drive six to ten of the oenophile magazine’s annual favorites. ($35 per person; reservations required.) Return for Dec. 6’s Trio Holiday Market and Open House for a day of samples, demos and vendors. Then compare champagne, prosecco, cava and other sparkling flavors during Dec. 20’s Bubbly Fest. ($30 per person.) Visit www.obxtrio. com for details, or call 252-261-0277 to reserve your spot. • Rather slurp homegrown grape juice — and locally harvested oysters? Head to Jarvisburg on Nov. 29 for The Big Curri-Shuck, where Sanctuary Vineyards serves up all-you-can-eat bivalves from 125pm, plus steamed crabs and BBQ while they last. Fill your free glass with an endless supply of wine tastings, beer samples, then stuff your ears with live music by the Cody Austin Band. Tix are $40 per couple/ $20 per person in advance. ($50/$30 at the door.) Get ’em now at www.sanctuaryvineyards.com or any Cotton Gin location or I Got Your Crabs in Kitty Hawk. • Back on the beach, the Outer Banks Entrepreneurs Holiday Bazaar brings more than 50 artists and crafters — plus door prizes, live music and Peppercorn’s lunch specials — to KDH’s Ramada Inn, Nov. 29, 9am-5pm. Search Facebook for vendors and details. • And the East Coast’s biggest dune boasts the holidays’ fattest man when Kitty Hawk Kites hosts Hanging with Santa at their Nags Head location. On Nov. 28-29, bring a camera for a free photo with Mr. and Ms. Claus. And stay late on Sat. for Kites with Lights, where 19-foot delta kites fly over Jockey’s Ridge just after dusk. Bring flashlights and glow sticks to add to the dazzle; the store’s stocked with free cider and cookies to keep you warm. More at www.kittyhawk.com. • On Nov. 28-30, Roanoke Island’s Island Farm goes old school when Island Foodways interprets 1850s vittles traditions and survival techniques like hearth cooking, preservation, candle making, corn shucking and ox-drawn wagon rides. 10am-5pm. $6; free for ages 5-and-under. Bring a nonperishable food item for

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Roanoke Island Food Pantry and save $1. More at www.theislandfarm.com. • Talk about flower power. On Nov. 29, Elizabethan Gardens starts glowing as Grand Illuminations sparks this season’s Winter Lights — a spectacular 22 nights of holiday dazzle from a warm Embellished Hall to cozy fire pits on the Great Lawn as well as seasonal gift shop and plant sales. Shines every Tues.-Sat., Dec. 2-Jan. 3. (Closed on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1; Adults $10. Ages 6-17: $8. 5 and under: $5.) Plus there’s WinterLights with Santa on Dec. 21 and a range of other events, such as Ladies Night shopping deals and workshops to learn the Art of the Centerpiece or make the Perfect Holiday Wreath. Get dates, pricing and more reasons to celebrate at www.elizabethangardens.org or call 252-473-3234. • Downtown Manteo wants you to channel Tiny Tim on Nov. 29, as Small Business Saturday offers great deals, prices and special events from local galleries, pet stores, pottery makers and book boutiques. Find out more at www.townofmanteo.com. • Come back and go big on the waterfront, Dec. 5-6, with Roanoke Island Christmas Weekend. Start with First Friday’s festive combo of extended business hours — and the opening of the Dare County Arts Council’s Annual Small Works Show — then skip out front at 6pm for the Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration, where carols, cider and good cheer flow freely before the old courthouse. And return Sat. morning for Manteo’s Christmas Parade, a mile-long procession of marching bands, vintage boats, flying candy canes and a whole lotta horse apples. Starts at 10:30am, but show up early to score a good spot. Deets at www.townofmanteo.com. • And there’s a new tradition on tap for Dec. 5-6, as Roanoke Island Christmas Weekend combines three must-see attractions: Island Farm’s Christmas Past (12-5pm); Holiday Tour of Homes (2-7pm) and The Elizabethan Gardens Winter Lights (2-9pm). Tickets include an amazing buffet salad lunch. $30 in advance; $35 on the day of the event. Groups of ten or more $27 per ticket. Plus, you can finish the night with a WinterLights Holiday Dinner, 5-6:30pm. Adults: $20. Youth: $15. For info or details, call 252-473-3234. • For a more low-key display, just hop over to Aviation Park where the KDH Frog Pond walking path provides a happy halo of festive features. Full description at www.kdhnc.com. • And wise men still follow the glow west of French Fry Alley to find the brightest Christmas beacon next to Rudolph’s nose: the Poulos Holiday House. It’s free, but donations are accepted to help with the power bill. (So if your wondering eyes are a’peering, you better be paying.) • Wanna spoil your taste buds and help feed the hungry? Be at Kitty Hawk’s Hilton Garden Inn on Thurs., Dec. 4, for the First Annual Beach Food Pantry Holiday Chef’s Challenge, where culinary ninjas show-off their best kung-fu using nothing but food bank fodder. (Think “Chopped” but cheaper.) Don’t like instant pancake topped with canned tuna? Don’t worry: every chef also Santa crashes the Poulos’ Christmas party in early Dec. Photo: Ryan Rhodes

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 3-5 P.M. on the DUCK TOWN GREEN Enjoy live holiday tunes by Emme St. James & Her Jazz Gentlemen on the Town Green, strolling carolers from First Flight High School, Santa’s arrival on the Duck Fire Truck, and the lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree. Donations will also be accepted for Outer Banks SPCA and Food For Thought. Select businesses will extend their hours until 7:00 p.m. and offer a locals discount on December 6. Visit doducknc.com for details. CHEERFUL CONTESTS THROUGHOUT DUCK VILLAGE Friday, November 28 – December 19 Make your way through Duck Village this holiday season to enjoy the holiday sights and have a chance to win gift cards from Duck businesses to help you complete your holiday shopping! Vote for your favorite displays as part of the Holiday Window Decoration Contest, and snap and share photos along the way as part of a new #DUCKTHEHALLS Instagram Scavenger Hunt.

Yuletide cheer

is comi

ng to


For details on how to participate and be entered to win, visit www.townofduck.com/yuletide-celebration. Events Information: 252.255.1286

Town of Duck

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endnotes brings a signature starter from their restaurant. 6-9pm. $50 includes both dishes, two Dec. 6, Emme St. James & Her Jazz Gentlemen will soundtrack the Annual Duck Yuletide beverages and live entertainment. Full breakdown at www.beachfoodpantry.org. • We know: Celebration at Town Green. From 3-5pm, Santa swaps his sleigh for the Duck Fire Truck food insecurity is no joking matter. Neither is child labor. But that never stopped folks from and the Crab Pot Christmas Tree becomes a wiry wonderland of winter lights. Stick around forcing kids to make laughable gifts for family members. Luckily, the KDH Co-Operative to check out Duck’s Holiday Window Decoration Contest — where storefronts tangle in a offers Little Elves Workshops to keep your tykes smiling from clay to kiln, Dec. 3, 10 & 17. display of twinkle and tinsel, Nov. 18-Dec. 29 — all while taking part in the #DuckTheHalls (Ages 5 and up. $85 covers all 3 sessions.) And for the big Instagram Scavenger Hunt. Then pop into Town Hall to see dumb dude in your life, there’s the 13th Annual Man Sale on Big Bold New Works, a mixed media exhibit by Shirley Ruff Dec. 24. From 10am-2pm local artists offer gift-buying tips to and Holly Nettles, hanging through Jan. 28. More at www. keep dad out of the doghouse. More at www.kdhcoop.com. • townofduck.com. • Do you hear what we hear? Sounds like Live in Corolla? Still feeling crafty but don’t want to drive? Let Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Red Wolf Local Color bring the studio to you with Art on Wheels for Recovery Program are offering another free Holiday Howl groups of 5 to 25. More deets at www.localcolorobx.com. • on Dec. 6, 5-6:30 pm — your chance to learn more about red Meanwhile, the Whalehead Club dons holiday regalia for wolves right there in the wild. Meet at the Creef Cut Wildlife Christmas in Corolla, Nov. 21-Dec. 30. Enjoy daytime tours Trail parking lot for a chance to hear the harmonious howl of (11am-4pm) along with special candlelit tours every Fri. and this endangered species. Call 252-473-1131 for details. • Sat., 5-8pm. But the brightest night of all is their Grand What’s not to lichen? Find out on Dec. 10, when the Coastal Illumination event on Dec. 5, as the historic home and Science Institute’s Science on the Sound Series presents lighthouse glow brighter than ever with lights, music, a visit Our Native Lichens: A Hidden World in Peril, starring from Santa and a celebration of the Night of a Thousand James C. Lendemer of the New York Botanical Garden. Stars reading challenge with Currituck County Schools and Then come back on Jan. 22 as Mike Muglia discusses Tapping Shirley Ruff’s “Can Man” shares workspace with Holly Nettles’ Water’s Edge Village School. Learn more at www. into the Power of the Gulf Stream to highlight CSI’s mixed media thru Jan. 28 at Duck Town Hall. christmasincorolla.com. • Give your ears some holiday cheer Renewable Ocean Energy Program. All lectures are free and when Holly Jolly Christmas comes to Roanoke Island Festival Park’s indoor theater on start at 6pm. More at csi.northcarolina.edu. • For sick people and their families, Christmas Dec. 5 (2pm) and Dec. 6 (2pm & 7pm), promising sing-along classics and fresh holiday isn’t all presents and carols. On Dec. 12, the Outer Banks Hospital’s Lunch and Learn favorites by Nu-Blu. Tix: $22; 12 and under: $10. Get yours at www.hollyjollyobx.com. • On presents “Coping with Cancer During the Holidays.” (12pm; call 449-4500 to register.)

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And help save a life by joining the American Red Cross Blood Drive on Dec. 18, 10am4pm. Register online at www.redcross.org; keyword search “OBX Hospital.” • Jump to the front of Santa’s nice list by becoming a Dare Hospice Respite Care Volunteer to give family members some much-needed rest and rejuvenation. Meetings occur the second Wed. of every month at the KDH Baum Center, (Dec. 10, Jan. 11, Feb. 14; 10-11:30am) and the third Wed. at the Fessenden Center in Buxton (Dec. 17, Jan. 18, Feb. 21; 11am-12:30pm). Find details and a calendar full of charitable opportunities at www.obxcommongood.org. • Just want to eat, drink and be merry — but still want to help the community? Outer Banks Hotline’s 26th Annual Festival of Trees returns to the Outer Banks Brewing Station, Dec. 11-14, flooding the backyard tent with holiday cheer and tons of donated trees decorated with big-ticket items and experiences for auction. Plus, there’s live musical performances, a Holiday Bazaar, kids activities — even a tacky sweater party. All proceeds support Hotline’s programs, including: a safe house for battered women; 24-hour crisis intervention phone line; bullying education and prevention efforts; advocacy for victims of domestic abuse and responding to sexual assault victims. Full schedule at www. obxfestivaloftrees.com. • Also on Dec. 11, from 3-7pm, Santa and the Train chug-chug-chugs into the Brew Pub to support Children at Play. (Don’t worry, the reindeer are driving.) Then, on Dec. 14, from 12-5pm, it’s OBXMas benefits Interfaith Community Outreach with local artists and a silent auction. And for rockin’ fun, the live music flows all winter long, including Big Daddy Love on Dec. 20 and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band on Dec. 27. Complete calendar at www.obbrewing.com. • Wanna support horseback riding for children and adults with special needs? Then giddy-up over to BK Shuckers on Dec. 13 as the Mane & Taill Horsemanship Academy holds their annual

Breakfast with Santa Claus, from 8-10am. Call 252-489-1774 for $5 tix. Or buy at the door for $7. More info at www.maneandtaill.org. • Haul down to the Hatteras Village Christmas Parade on Dec. 13, as the finest assortment of high school bands, fire trucks and team floats strut their stuff for the titles of Most Creative, Most Comical and Most Community Spirit. • Then set a direct course for Graveyard of the Atlantic’s 4th Annual Holiday at the Museum on Dec. 13. From 12-5pm a Winter Wonderland Train Display by model master Charlie Klein will rev up the family along with a children’s holiday craft table, puppet shows and choral groups. Bring a food bank donation and take 5% off purchases. For a full schedule visit www.ncmaritimemuseums.com or call 252-986-2995. • Like your boats floating? Head back to the harbor on Dec. 13 as the Colington Yacht Club presents their annual Christmas Boat Parade. And if you enjoy watching, , come hop aboard the annual New Year ‘s Sail, Jan. 1 at 1pm. Learn more at www. colingtonyachtclub.com. • Poke your head inside Jennette’s Pier on Dec. 13 to join in the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles’ General Membership Meeting and a Holiday Lunch full of the latest news and freshest jellyfish sandwiches. Details to follow on www.nestonline.org. • The Dare County Arts Council’s new winter fundraiser is certainly flavorful. On Dec. 13, December Decadence will mix a variety of culinary artists inside 108 Budleigh in downtown Manteo. Heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by the Black Pelican, plus live music, dancing and a silent auction. Cocktail attire. $40 per person. Go to www.darearts.org for details or call 252-473-5558 to reserve tickets. • What? You think dessert’s just gonna rain down from the sky? It might if you go see the Candy Bomber drop chocolate bars over Dare County Airport on Dec. 14, before landing and delivering Santa himself. Find full deets on the airport’s Facebook page • The only thing better than falling treats is a sweet display of flying history. On Dec. 17, the 111th Annual

Tickets: $50

Includes Appetizers, Chef Offerings, & Drink Tickets

Live Entertainment Raffles Door Prizes All proceeds benefit the Beach Food Pantry and Dare County Residents in Need.

Celebrate the Holiday Season on the Outer Banks!

November 20th- December 31st (Except Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Monday- Saturday from 11am- 4pm- $12

Featuring special holiday candlelit tours every Friday & Saturday from 5-8 pm- $15

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TickeTs AvAilAble online: www.beachfoodpantry.org cAll: 252-261-2756 emAil: obxfoodpantry@gmail.com Sponsored in part by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

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endnotes First Flight Celebration sends planes over KDH’s Wright Brothers Memorial at 10:35am. Banks Physicians’ Council on Prescription Drug Abuse will meet on Jan. 17 to focus on Lift off early on Dec. 16 with a banquet honoring pilot, engineer and glass-ceiling shatterer how to identify pill addicts. Doctors and pharmacists can register by dialing 252-449-4517. • Mary S. Feik. More at www.firstflight.org. • Oh crap! It’s almost here! Nothing prepares you Enhance your mood naturally with laughter and drama as the 25th Season of the Theater for last-second holiday shopping like a good footrace. On Dec. 20, be in Southern Shores at of Dare brings You Can’t Take It With You to the COA Auditorium, Jan. 23, 24, 30 & 31 7:45pm sharp as the 2nd Annual Festivus Road Race 10k/5k, Jingle Jog 1-Mile and Little at 7:30pm and Jan.25/Feb. 1 at 2pm. ($11 for adults; $6 for students.) And keep an eye on Elf ¼-Mile offer four different distances so you can outpace the craziest of shoppers from www.theatreofdareobx.com for audition dates for Godspell, which runs Mar. 13-22. • The the biggest Target to the tiniest Kangaroo. Details and registration at www.runcations.com. Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts continues its musical streak on Jan. 24 as Ryan • Calling all drummer boys — and girls: the Outer Banks Drum Circle beats it back to Nags Shupe & the Rubberband stretches Head’s Ashtanga Yoga Center for “newgrass” to new limits. And on Feb. winter. But it’s still the fourth Sat. of 14, the Swingle Singers’ a cappela the month: Dec. 27; Jan. 24 and Feb. acrobatics are the perfect way to show 28. And it still starts at 6:30pm. For your lover you don’t want to perform info email skidbladnir@charter.net. • solo on Valentine’s Day. Both shows Like your drum to have scales — not start 7:30pm at First Flight High skins? Hook up with the Outer Banks School. $28; $15 for students. More Anglers Club at the Sea Ranch in at www.outerbanksforum.org. • If you KDH, the last Mon. of every month at love someone, make them sweat. The 7pm.: Nov. 24, Dec. 29, Jan. 26 and Hearts A Fire 5k Valentines Day Feb. 23). Learn more at www. Walk/Run comes to Sanctuary outerbanksanglersclub.com. • “May all Vineyards on Feb. 14, 9am-12pm, acquaintance be f’d up”… That may with wine, chocolate and couples not be the actual lyrics, but it’s the pricing. All ages and relationship truth. This New Year’s Eve, go see statuses welcome. Register at www. your friends stumble from one year to runcations.com. • Find something the next — and one bar to the other, shiny for that special someone when as TR3 rocks out the Brew Station, the Dare County Arts Council’s DJs spin Kelly’s into a tizzy and untold shenanigans go down from pubs to College of the Albemarle Jewelry after parties. Get the most current info Exhibit opens Feb. 6. Or paint your at www.obxentertainment.com and sweetie a masterpiece and enter it in www.outerbankslivemusic.com. • The the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show, Outer Banks Shag Club says “so which runs Feb. 21-Mar. 19 at Glenn long” to 2014 with a three-day Salute Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery. More at “Precioussssss…” 2014 “Best in Show” winner, Kathryn Osgood, will once more try to bewitch judges with jewels at to the Red White & Blue at the the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show starting Feb. 21. www.darearts.org. • On Feb. 7, the Comfort Inn South, Dec. 30-Jan. 1. Outer Banks Hospital Development Get details on reduced rates at www.obxshagclub.com. • Meanwhile, down south, the Council and OBX Bank will celebrate ten years of fundraising galas with a Carnaval at Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation is hosting a New Year’s Eve Fundraiser at the Captain George’s in KDH. Look for Brazilian cuisine, spicy dancing and the occasional thong Hatteras Village Civic Center, Dec. 31, 8am-1pm. They bring the heavy apps, champagne (if you’re lucky). So far, the annual galas have pumped more than $9 million back into the toast and the sounds of RayGun Ruby. You BYOB. More at www.hicf.org. • And Trio’s New community. For more info on sponsorship opportunities call 252-449-4529. • Keep showing Year’s Eve Grand Reserve Tasting pops its cork at 6pm. $60 per person lets you sample your love of foreign culture — and a good book — when Manteo’s Duck’s Cottage the finest selection of wines. Reservations are required. Call 252-262-0277. And stick Downtown Books celebrates Local’s Only Chinese New Year. From Feb. 19-21 pick a around, ’cause the party overflows into the main bar at 9pm with live music and no cover. special fortune cookie, get a special discount to ring in the Year of the Sheep. Come back More deets at www.obxtrio.com. • The holidays return with a vengeance for Hatteras when Mar. 7 for a Downtown Manteo Health Crawl with the Outer Banks Hospitals Health Old Christmas comes back to the Rodanthe Community Building on Jan. 6. It’s a Coach. More at www.duckscottage.com. • Enjoy great food for a better cause when Feb 22.’s centuries-old tradition where local families roast oysters, toast friendships and chase Old March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction gathers culinary creators inside the Hilton Buck. • Moving from mythical bulls to magical brides, the Outer Banks Wedding Garden Inn for delectable demos — and a smorgasbord of special cooking packages for Weekend and Expo fills First Flight High School, Jan. 17-18. From 10am-3pm, the halls attendees to bid on. Funds go to helping keep babies healthy. More at www.hrsigchef.com/ bustle with photogs and DJs, cake-makers and caterers. Find your favorite fake bride or outer-banks/index.html • And finally, on Mar. 6, all fans of historic sea rescues — and groom and start sampling all the free goods. Pricing and times at www. traditional stitch work — report for duty to Roanoke Island Festival Park for two grand outerbanksweddingassoc.org. • Speaking of which, ladies: before you go for a beach wedding full of balloon bouquets, Chinese lanterns and faux rose petals, think of all the litter openings, as the Annual Quilt Show displays patterned fabrics from past to present. Meanwhile, next door, the Outer Banks History Center unveils their newest exhibit, The that’s left behind. Or take a firsthand peek with the N.C. Coastal Federation on Jan. 17, as Heritage of Heroes: The U.S. Coast Guard in Eastern North Carolina. And don’t skylark: they clean up Roanoke Island, Jan. 17, 9am-12pm. Down south, you can feast on bottom OBHC’s “Eye for Art, Heart for History” exhibit remains on display through Dec. 31. feeders when the Hatteras Island Oyster Roast comes to Hatteras Village on Feb. 21. Crack www.nccoast.org for times and details. • Calling all croakers. The next session of Outer After that, you’re not just late, you’re officially dated.

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