Outer Banks Milepost: Issue 4.2

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Issue 4.1


Issue 4.2


YOUR OWN RISK. milepost 1






UV rays beam certain death… Feathered rats drop toxic waste.

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Hold on to your umbrellas...here comes summer. Photo: Ben Miller

The beach is a most perilous playground. gohunt outthere

Not because of rip currents. Or undertows. The stinging beasties that bob on top or the man-eating terrors lurking below. (No matter what your big brother or “Shark Week” wants you to believe.) In fact, the ocean may be the safest refuge of all — it’s dry land where real hazards lie.


Above, UV rays beam certain death. Beneath, the sand blazes so hot, seasoned firewalkers show up wearing six sets of slaps. Feathered rats drop toxic waste. Biting flies gnaw on kneecaps. And all that can happen on the least populated stretch of Pea Island. Add a few people and some wind, it’s even more dangerous, as umbrellas start flying down the beach like javelins, stabbing random strangers. Look up and — Wham-o! — your forehead’s filleted by a foreign Frisbee.

shins with flying skimboards. Shaking the whole Sahara from a beach towel. Suddenly, everyone’s walking around like Frankenstein, arms out, eyes stitched shut. But instead of screaming, “Fire, bad!” They’re yelling “Water, please!” Which, of course, is the only thing you failed to pack in your cooler.

Don’t look down and a 6-year-old’s sand pit hobbles you for life. Sit perfectly still, a poorly timed toss turns a twelve-ounce can into a two-hour headache.

Even the very surroundings assault your senses as radios pummel eardrums with lame beats and foul language, and everywhere you look, there’s another visual insult. Painful sunburns. Hairy shoulder blades. People bending and stretching to unleash booby-trap after booby-trap of bulging body parts and bad tattoos. One 90-year-old nip slip and you’re bleaching the kid’s eyeballs on the way to the therapist. And still, like most danger statistics, it’s the people closest to you who do the most harm — your own family. Dropping surfboards on your feet. Shattering your

But then the lady two-camps away rushes over with a canteen rinse. Her husband shares his last beer. The big people plop back down in their beach chairs. The little ones circle up around a bag of chips. And the whole mood stays chill ’til the sun calls it quits and everyone packs to go.

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The kids grab their gear without you barking orders. Showers go down without a single whine. And as you put the last raft in the car, a piece of parking lot plant life no bigger than a pea plunges its spiny dagger into your mini-me’s pinkie toe, unleashing a tantrum of Hulk-sized proportions. But what would you rather have? A limp, flaccid ocean that can’t be bothered to reach your feet — instead of smacking you in the face? Robot children who line up in rows making symmetrical piles — instead of smashing each other in the shorebreak? Stuffy grown-ups who hide under tents and ten layers of clothing — noses pressed to the spines of their books — instead of baring their half-naked souls to the sun, sand and surf? That’s not safe. That’s just boring. And boring is no day at the beach. — 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: cold compress for beer can concussions; signal flare for drifting water craft; turn a whole stack into protective pavers for long walks on blistering days. 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

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“A girl in a bikini is like having a loaded pistol on your coffee table — there’s nothing wrong with them, but it’s hard to stop thinking about it.” — Garrison Keillor “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” — Warren Buffett Issue 4.2 Summer 2015 Cover: Risky business. Photos: Chris Bickford Design: Ben Miller Reader You Brushes & Ink John Butler, George Cheeseman, Marcia Cline, Carolina Coto, Jesse Davis, Fay Davis Edwards, Laine Edwards, Travis Fowler, Dawn Gray, Amelia Kasten, Chris Kemp, Ben Miller, Ben Morris, Holly Nettles, Rick Nilson, Stuart Parks II, Daniel Pullen, Charlotte Quinn, Meg Rubino, Stephen Templeton Lensfolk Nate Appel, Matt Artz, Chris Bickford, Russell Blackwood, Aycock Brown, Mark Buckler, Rich Coleman, Chris Creighton, Amy Dixon, Lori Douglas, Julie Dreelin, Tom Dugan/ESM, Roy Edlund, Bryan Elkus, Chris Hannant, Bryan Harvey, Ginger Harvey, Anthony Leone, Jeff Lewis, Jared Lloyd, Matt Lusk, Ray Matthews, Mickey McCarthy, Brooke Mayo, Dick Meseroll/ESM, Ryan Moser, Rob Nelson, Crystal Polston, Daniel Pullen, Ryan Rhodes, Terry Rowell, Tom Sloate, DJ Struntz, Aimee Thibodeau, Eve Turek, 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, Julie Southard, Shannon Sutton, Michelle Wagner, Clumpy White, Natalie Wolfe, Michele Young-Stone Design/Production Jesse Davis Sales Force Laurin Walker Big Mouth In Chief Matt Walker



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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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03 StartingPoint The truth burns. 06 UpFront Struggling finances, swindling neighbors and curiosity kills a page. 19 GetActive Hearts and crafts. 21 FirstPerson Behind the black beard. 22 If the Suit Fits Six swimwear models show a little skin — and a lotta substance. 36 GraphicContent Set a course for adventure.

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38 …At Your Own Risk Yesterday’s WTFs are today’s FYIs. 46 QuestionAuthority Making friends with the Park Service’s new Superintendent. 50 GoFish Women and women first. 53 GoSurf Nags Head gets sponge-worthy. 54 FoodDrink Floats, boats, burgers and cones.

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58 SoundCheck Punk’s not dead. “To be honest, I feel like I’m more of a blogger than an artist. When I first began painting in 2007, I decided to create one piece every day and post it online. I’d drive up and down Route 12 snapping pictures, then go home and look for some little detail — some interesting vignette — that I could recreate. The concept was that somebody, somewhere, had seen that exact image from the exact same point of view. Later I moved on to boats, shorebirds, food, beach scenes. Blue crabs were my first big hit — I probably painted a hundred of them. Did four or five “Serendipities.” Got the cover of the Beach Book for a Wanchese fish boat. Eight years later, I’ve posted 1400 paintings, and sold more than half. I don’t know where they all go — I don’t even know these people ever visited — but I like to think they’re buying their favorite summer memories.”

60 RearView Heart pine time machine. 63 OutThere What would Dilbert do? 64 EndNotes A most revealing summer rundown.

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And there’s seasonal Dare County — the vacation spot that takes care of 250,000 fresh faces each week for months at a stretch.

For half of Outer Banks residents, surviving is no summer holiday.

To ensure enough public safety employees to handle the summer population — which is about eight times the year round population — staffing remains high throughout the year, particularly in the number of EMS and Sheriff’s Office employees. Furthermore, governments can’t buy ambulances or cop cars on a seasonal basis.

restaurants. And countless hours of funloving free time. To most visitors, this is the Outer Banks way of life. So when North Carolina Senator Harry Brown introduced a bill this past March that would redistribute sales tax generated in Dare County to surrounding poorer areas, many outsiders saw no problem. Some even figured it was justified. In fact, Brown himself implied that coastal governments receive more than their just rewards in sales tax revenues.

But Mr. Brown’s proposal doesn’t consider the summer’s infrastructure demands; it only looks at year-round population. As a result, if approved and signed into law, Dare County and the municipalities would take the largest hit in the state with a 59.2 percent reduction in sales tax revenues. The total loss for the local governments would be $16.7 million with about $11.5 million deleted from the county’s General Fund.

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That equates to about an 8 to 9 cent graphiccontent increase in property tax — or $80-90 per

“This is the big reason we have two North Carolinas — one booming and one busting,” he told WRAL television.

$100,000 tax evaluation. And while the guy who owns the oceanfront home may be able to take the hit, chances are he doesn’t live here. In Dare County, 87 percent of houses are second homes. And of the other 13 percent, at least half of them are living from check to check — or worse.


Under current law, the state distributes 75 percent of the sales tax based on pointof-sale and the remaining 25 percent on population. Under Brown’s proposal, the state would return money based on population alone. But what he doesn’t seem to understand is there really are two Dare Counties. There’s year-round Dare County — home to 37,000 residents.


“I can’t really slam Brown for his assumptions,” says “Lisa,” a real estate sales person. “Eight years ago, I would have




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probably said Dare was a wealthy county, too. But back then, I was too busy selling houses to think about it.” Then, in 2008, the market crashed, taking real estate values to a new low, and pulling a lot of the local economy with it. Lisa and her husband maintained their normal standard of living — until he filed for divorce. While the market languished, she picked up night shifts at a hotel. Still, she couldn’t make her mortgage payments. “In two-and-a-half years, I lost most of my income and my home,” she says. “Instead of donating clothes to Hotline, I was buying them there.”

It can happen that fast in a resort town where costs are high and wages are stagnant. North Carolina Budget and Tax Center estimates that it costs about $52,000 a year to live in Dare County. The median worker per capita income is about $26,000. That means people either must work multiple jobs or live in a twoincome household. Add the highest cost of living in the state — $10 spent on a product in places like Wake County could cost Dare residents $11.50 -12.00 — and one unanticipated expense can make the difference between paying bills and going bankrupt. And it’s not just seasonal workers who struggle.

benefited from the program.) Instead, local programs and charities work to fill the void. Linda Willey of Manteo was instrumental in kick-starting the Get Pinked program, which raises money for women to get free mammograms.

One unanticipated expense can make the difference between paying bills and going bankrupt.

“Paul” and his wife are in their 30s, have an elementary school-aged child and a toddler. He works days for county government; she works nights waiting tables. With continual cuts to county employee benefits and only one raise in several years, Paul’s salary isn’t keeping up with inflation. And then, last year, things got worse when his insurance changed. In households where a second insurance plan is available — such as through the spouse’s employer, Medicare or Medicaid — employees were automatically placed in a second plan with a $5,000 deductible. The reasoning was that the second insurance plan would cover the high deductible.

“I got the idea when a woman I know needed a mammogram but didn’t qualify for the health department’s program that pays for them,” she recalls.

“They said the reason the insurance went up was because too many of us were going to the emergency room,” says Paul. “But at the emergency room, you can make payments. At Urgent Care, you have to pay $75 before they will see you. Seventy-five dollars is a lot when you are having problems making ends meet.” Health care costs have long been a problem for many local people. When the state decided not to expand Medicaid, many workers were left earning too much to qualify for other programs — but not enough to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (It is estimated that 1,300 Dare County residents could have

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Young families seem to be the hardest hit by the economic disparities. As of March 19, Dare County Schools had approximately 5,014 students enrolled, and, system-wide, 42.9 percent qualify for free or reduced lunches. That equals 2,152 students who are in families that meet the federal guidelines for the program. To qualify for the program, said Carol Sykes, School Nutrition director for Dare County Schools, applicants must meet income guidelines set by the federal government — $20,449 for free lunches and $29,101 for reduced price meals for a family of two. Furthermore, Food for Thought is a nonprofit group that provides weekend meals for elementary school children eligible for free and reduced lunches. The program began as a response to the need to reduce hunger and academic risk facing elementary school children by providing healthy meals to build strong minds. Today, volunteers pack and deliver about 600 weekend meal bags to the various schools each Friday. With more than a quarter-million visitors a year paying thousands a week for lodging, where is the money going? Much of it is

collected here but then sent to vacation rental owners living elsewhere. But that same system makes it harder for residents to find affordable housing, as the seasonal market dries up supply and inflates prices. “It took me two months to find this house,” says “Jack,” a construction worker with two boys in elementary school. “The rent is lower than on some I looked at but it still takes almost half my paycheck.” That’s assuming he works full time. If one of his kids gets sick, he misses a day’s pay because he doesn’t qualify for childcare assistance. Ironically, if he lost his job and had no income, he could get help. If he lost his house — and didn’t have kids — he could get free shelter with Room at the Inn. But just as our beach community is stuck between two worlds — residential and vacation — our citizens are stuck between two worlds economically. “We don’t have homeless families,” says Willey. “Instead, we have working poor.” At least Lisa’s fortunes are looking up. She says houses are starting to move again. For now, Paul and Jack keep working and try not to slide further backward. And the tax bill? It and a second bill also aimed at redistribution of sales tax are still in committee. If they pass, you can bet — at least in Dare County — most people won’t feel any boom. And many more will go bust. — Sandy Semans

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upfront soundcheck


For 65 years, this line of signs has kept outsiders on course.


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“Can we bug you for directions…?” Photo: Drew C. Wilson/The Virginian Pilot/Outer Banks History Center

SAVE OUR OCEANS… graphiccontent gosurf outthere



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“What milepost?” They’re usually the first two words upon any visitor’s lips when seeking a dining establishment, beach access — or even their own rental home. But finding your way along the Outer Banks wasn’t always as simple as connecting green dots on the side of the bypass. In fact, in the earliest days of tourism, signs weren’t even necessary. Then again, neither were directions. The Outer Banks’ role as a resort destination predates the Civil War, when the Albemarle region’s well-to-do traveled by steamer or private vessel to Nags Head’s sound side, summering in hotels and cottages that grew in the shadow of Jockey’s Ridge. The first out-of-state visitors were mostly sportsmen, who hunkered down in lodges to hunt waterfowl in winter months. And when the Wright Brothers returned to Kitty Hawk for tests in 1908 and 1911, flocking reporters rented rooms in Manteo. In every case, they all came for a reason, with little reason to wander or get lost.

All that changed in the 1930s as bridges and roads finally allowed curious travelers to visit by automobile. After World War II, the businesses sprouting up along the Beach Road were eager to tout their locale to a new surge in vacationers. But that wasn’t so easy on a strip of sand with few identifying features. “Since there are no regular cross streets along the Dare beaches,” stated Oscar Sanderlin, who chaired a special committee of the Dare Beaches Chamber of Commerce in 1950, “it is very difficult for strangers to find hotels or locate specific cottages.” Sanderlin’s committee decided to erect signs every mile along Virginia Dare Trail — aka the Beach Road — the only north-south thoroughfare at the time. “These mile posts will serve as a substitute for street signs,” continued Sanderlin, “so that residents as well as visitors can more easily find their way around.”

Thus an Outer Banks institution was born — the milepost marker. At first, the signs were posted between only the Wright Memorial Bridge and the Roanoke Sound Bridge. According to the late Outer Banks historian David Stick, the special committee “arranged for the Chamber to pay for the construction of twenty signs, each one containing the letters ‘M.P.’ and the mile number on both sides,” using “reflectorized material to make them visible at night.” State Highway workers installed them in time for the 1950 summer season. Over the coming years, stores, motels and restaurants used the new signs in advertisements — occasionally even moving the markers closer to make their businesses easier to find. Nevertheless, the system worked well enough — until 1980, when new, larger signs began to replace the original mile markers along the Beach Road and to accompany the newer 158-Bypass. Many established

names were chagrinned to discover that their trusty signs weren’t geographically accurate. (Especially hard-hit was the Milepost 11 Association, a federation of businesses that was much more in the vicinity of MP 10.)

After World War II, businesses were eager to CATER TO curious VISITORS.

But storefronts adapted. So did the visitors. And with time, the novelty, practicality and popularity of the mileposts led to their expansion down past South Nags Head all the way to Hatteras Village. Today, Hatteras Island’s final marker is Milepost 72, near Lee Robinson General Store. And they are especially helpful inside the National Seashore’s undeveloped stretches where

a marker is the only way to remember the location of a sweet surf spot or a secluded stretch of beach. In 2006, the Currituck Banks — now known as the Currituck Outer Banks — borrowed the idea but tweaked it some. Their signs begin at the county line and ascend in number all the way through Corolla. And instead of shiny, industrial green, they went with a more subtle white paint job and pastel-colored symbols. Perhaps that’s why Ben Wood with the Currituck County Planning Department says they have “generally found that the mile marker signs are not successful.” Last March, they began working on a “comprehensive wayfinding signage package” including directional, informational, beach access, and orientation to foster “safe travel for vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.” But down on what was once referred to as the Dare Coast Beaches, mileposts are still highly functional 65 years later. In

fact, markers now stand every half-mile to account for a more crowded bypass — with Nags Head’s The Shoppes at Milepost 10.5, Kill Devil Hills’ Milepost 6 Plaza and Kitty Hawk’s Milepost 4.5 shops all attesting to their branding power. And while a series of green metal signs may seem dated in our modern age of talking apps and GPS devices, the milepost system is more than just nostalgia — it’s a living, breathing part of Outer Banks life. (Mainly because they still require asking a living, breathing local where to go.) — Sarah Downing Sources include: Currituck County, Corolla Village Circulation and Wayfinding Plan, Feb. 2014; “Mile Signs Posts Will Be Erected on Dare Beaches,” Daily Advance, March 20, 1950; “Nags Head Discusses Markers,” Coastland Times, Sept. 9, 1980; Stick, David, Dare Beaches Chamber of Commerce 1947-1950, unpublished manuscript circa 1992, Outer Banks History Center.

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upfront soundcheck


“What is your favorite milepost?”

We got questions — you got answers.


Sam, 29 Retail Manager “I used to live right at 3.5. The place was awful, but I could look through my kitchen window and watch the sun come up right through these two houses. It’s by Lillian, so there’s usually really good talent in the water. Or, if you just want to hang and watch people, it’s one of the best spots around.”

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Daniel, 28 Bartender “I just love biking down the Beach Road. I’ll cruise from MP 2.5 all the way to 10, and take in all the sights and sounds. But if I’m going to sit in one spot, it’s 2.5. I can swing into Art’s Place. Or I can grab a twelve-pack from Wink’s, sit on the beach and hear music playing from outside Ocean Blvd.”

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Neil, 35 Cook “I like 7.5. There’s this long ORV access at Asheville Street that leads out to the beach. I could take the boardwalk, but I like taking the sand route all the way — it helps me disconnect from land.”

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Abigail, 33 Barista/Baker “Milepost 13 — where the old Nags Head historic homes are. It’s very pretty and clean. And the old houses and open beaches remind me of what the Outer Banks used to look like when I was growing up down here.”

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Hugh, 49 Musician “I’ve lived on Barnes Street for years — and I love it — but in the good old days, my granddad would bring me down to Avalon Pier to fish. Plus, now I have my shop across the bypass. So with all the great waves and fun I’ve had over the years — deep, deep, down to the core — MP6 is still my spot.”

Dani, 28 Tattoo Artist “I worked at the Southern Bean forever, so for me it’s 4.5. I intentionally turn down White Street when I’m driving, so I can stop and visit Eric Gardner’s memorial. Then I usually drive the Beach Road the rest of the way.”

Willy, Timeless Construction Worker “I used to be a maintenance manager at the Sea Foam, so 16.5. The beach is low, so the kids get out easy. Jennette’s Pier is awesome. And people have been going there for 40 years, so it’s cool to hang out and hear old-school stories.”

Carrie, 40 Photographer/Barista “I love the last milepost on Hatteras Island before you get on the ferry to Ocracoke Island — number 72 — because it means I’ve escaped!” Interviews and images by Tony Leone milepost 11

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A cheering, jeering look at recent events and their milepost potential impacts

DOWNSIZE THE SUPER SIZE? Oceanfront houses may still break scales in KDH, but condos and hotels won’t be so whopper-sized in the future. In March, the town reduced the Floor-to-Area Ratio on multi-family dwellings from 60 percent of the total lot size to 40 percent — or 50 percent with certain caveats. (For comparison, your house is probably 30 percent.) Proponents say “About time!” Developers say, “Why motels and not McMansions?” And KDH says, “Sit tight. Because single-family lots may be next to slim down.”

CHEERS LEADERS Visit any beer cooler or brunch on Sun. morning, you’ll hear folks boo NC’s “blue laws” banning all alcohol sales before noon. So when the Currituck Chamber of Commerce discovered that Carolina Panthers’ home games have legally served beer at 11am since 2007, they immediately protested to state legislators, then rallied their fan base to do the same. By Feb., support groups like Outer Banks Restaurant Association were chanting: “WTF, ABC?!”

MOLD AND IN THE WAY Manteo’s town hall got a crude awakening in Mar. when cleaningJUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO up mold and repairing some shingles turned into replacing the roof and removing asbestos. As the hazmat team moved in, 15 staffers GO BACK ON THE INTERNET moved out, finding temporary offices down the road. By May, Talk about clickbait. When two white sharks officials said it would take three months to erase all traces of toxic “pinged” inside Pamlico Sound, they sparked a scum from the government offices. (Now if we can just do the same frenzy of scary posts and news reports. But, as we for D.C.) reported in 2011, while these tags accurately track movements, specific location can vary by miles. POWER TRIO As OCEARCH researcher Dr. Greg Skomal told us For years, Jennette’s Pier, the Army Corps’ Duck Research Pier and in April: “Unfortunately, we cannot say with any the Coastal Studies Institute have banded together to help indie certainty whether these sharks were inside the companies research wave energy. Get ready to go big-time, as the sound. I think it’s safe to say they aren’t far from two piers were included in this year’s U.S. Wave Energy Converter the coast.” There, now don’t you feel better? Test Site catalogue — just one month after the world’s first grid-

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connected array began operating off Western Australia — giving the Outer Banks rock-star status, right as the industry’s getting more mainstream. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Talk about making some noise. When the feds added a final Bureau of Ocean Energy Meeting to get public input on petroleum exploration off NC, Outer Banks residents didn’t just answer the call, they made themselves heard — from bypass signs to banner planes to press rallies. By day’s end, 672 people had made KDH the largest BOEM meeting to date. By April, Dare County had passed the state’s strongest resolution opposing offshore drilling. DIG THIS In April, the Croatoan Archaeological Society hit pay dirt with two fresh finds on Hatteras Island: an Elizabethan-era rapier handle and a small slate writing tablet. The Outer Banks-based group says it proves Roanoke Island’s original settlers were never lost, they’d simply moved south and gone native. But other experts suggest that — while there was clearly English contact — who and how long remains unclear. Meanwhile, the First Colony Foundation recently announced their own 16th-century finds 50 miles west. Looks like the mystery — and the digging — will endure a bit longer.

BYE-BYE BEACON We all saw it coming when the Beacon Motor Lodge got sold last Dec. But tears still fell once the vintage motel met a bulldozer, in mid-Mar. Online, comments lit up from long-time visitors mourning their once-favorite spot. In Nags Head, businesses lamented the loss of yet another option for nightly lodging and individual families. And locally, everyone wonders just how much more history can crumble before the Outer Banks loses its sense of character — and future vision. SUCKER PUNCH? Sweet tropical mercy! In April, Colorado State University’s climate prediction team said 2015 “will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century,” forecasting seven named storms, “three becoming hurricanes and one reaching major status.” They also say the probability of Category 3, 4 or 5 making landfall on the Gulf or East Coast is about half the long-term average. Do the numbers, it sounds like we’re in for another refreshing break from big-time damage. Then again, if “it’s always the one you least expect,” we’re in for a hell of a wall-banger. ( Just ask Arthur.) 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, www.islandfreepress.org and www.obsentinel.com.

SMART-ASS COMMENT OF THE MONTH “I really hope that they plant a lot of palm trees and decorate them with plastic in the winter that blows like flags. And I am so glad that they did not salvage the ugly, knotty pine boards. That material is so not the Outer Banks.” — OBX Resident, “Down Goes Beacon Motor Lodge,” March 27, 2015, OuterBanksVoice.com

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upfront Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s worse: preparing for a hurricane that’s fixing to strike — or paying for the ones that never do. But while you can’t keep away an impending storm, you can push back on your insurance policy’s premiums before the season starts. Read on for ways to protect your wallet and home at the same time.


Beachfront homes don’t offer much wiggle room. Photo: Daniel Pullen

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1. Watch for “inflation protection.” Want to know why your tax bill says one number and your insurance bill says another? It’s called “inflation protection.” Every year, companies add a little extra to your home value to account for rising material and construction costs. Conveniently enough, there is no “deflation protection” to kick in when prices drop. “It’s not uncommon to see a dwelling value go from $100,000 to $160,000 in a matter


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of years,” says Willo Kelly, the government affairs director of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors. “I have reviewed dozens of policies and the majority were overvalued.” Call your agent and compare their value with yours, and ask them to adjust if it’s too big. “And don’t buy coverage that includes your land value,” adds Fletcher Willey, owner of the Nags Head insurance group, the Willey Agency. “Your land is not going to blow away.” 2. Determine your own rebuild value. So how much should it cost to replace your house? Depends on who you ask. The company applies a broad range of factors — like the square footage and price of materials — to determine their figure. But they don’t know how much lumber costs between Kellogg’s and Griggs. And they sure don’t know if your brother-inlaw’s a contractor who’ll cut you a deal. So don’t take their number. Supply your own up-to-date appraisal by a local builder. “The builder who built your house would

be the best source of getting the right amount of coverage at today’s cost,” says Willey. He also suggests doing it every three to five years — or if there are serious increases in building supplies (keeping in mind that costs often surge after a hurricane, when demand increases). Don’t know the first thing about construction? Ask around for a reputable name. Kelly says if your company is estimating more than $130 per square foot to rebuild, it’s time to get a second opinion. 3. Check for extras. Ever watch a house appraiser at work? They walk each room in the house with a clipboard, ticking boxes and making notes on construction and style points, then submit that to the bank or insurer. Each box they check adds to your home’s value. But are those floors really hardwood — or just a high-end laminate? And is that fridge a Sub-Zero — or just a stainless steel front? Your good taste in design may be costing you unnecessary dollars. And every time

you refinance you’re adding room for error. So call your agent to make sure that what the appraiser saw is exactly what you have. 4. Adjust your deductible accordingly. Most likely, your wind-and-hail deductible is set at 1 percent of the home’s value. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some relief on your homeowner’s policy. After all, you’re not going to pay a $1500 deductible on a $2000 shingle repair — especially when it will send your premium through the roof. Before you go raising your deductible, remember: wind and hail only kicks in for named storms. And two big nor’easters in one season can wipe out your savings fast. One last warning: you may not have any wiggle room. As Willey notes: “Some banks require you to have lower deductibles in high-risk areas.” 5. Buyer Beware: Consent to Rate forms. If your insurance company sends you a “consent to rate” form asking for your

signature, it’s time to start shopping around. That little letter lets underwriters deviate from the rate approved by the North Carolina commissioner of insurance. “If you sign it,” Willey notes, “they can charge you any rate they want.” More importantly, make sure you haven’t signed one already. Kelly estimates that “about 75 percent of policy holders in eastern North Carolina have signed a consent to rate form — and they have no idea.” 6. Repeat steps one through five. The last thing anyone wants to do is talk insurance for an hour, but calling your company is the only way to find out if you’re paying too much — and can actually be a rewarding experience in more ways than one. “Policy holders often feel empowered after learning some of the basics of what their insurance covered,” says Kelly. “And there is no way of knowing how many policies are overvalued, so you need to check yours every year.” — Michelle Wagner

Your health, your way. Here at home. Life on the Outer Banks is pretty special. So special, in fact, that most of us don’t want to leave. And, why should we? With The Outer Banks Hospital, we have access to excellent specialty services — orthopedic surgery, cancer treatment, women’s care and more. Backed by the combined strength of Vidant Health and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, the right care is right here.

The Outer Banks Hospital is a joint venture between Vidant Health and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center

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upfront soundcheck THE WRIGHT getactive STUFF

Pulitzer-winning startingpoint biographer shows the earthly side of roadmap America’s flight pioneers.

Americans have an issue with heroes. While alive, we place them on pedestals. Once dead, we put them on monuments. Before long, they become less like humans and more like deities. Or — in the case of Wilbur and Orville Wright — statues. Hard. Cold. Distant. Even when you’re standing mere inches from their weathered faces.



At one point, McCullough writes of Outer Banks “sunsets that were the most beautiful [Orville] had ever seen, the clouds lighting up in all colors, the stars at night so bright he could read his watch.” McCullough also describes bitter cold, swarming mosquitoes and bountiful winds that would carry the brothers’ names into history as they achieved “real flight at last.”


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Not anymore. In his latest biography, The Wright Brothers, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, David McCullough, cuts through the century-thick layer of edifying mythology to reveal the two dynamic souls that lay underneath. Not just as inseparable siblings, but as individuals whose personalities complemented and propelled them to conquer gravity itself. (Spoiler alert: Wilbur’s the handsome hardass; Orville, the sensitive optimist.)


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But we get more than just a profile of two Dayton bike makers. We get the full context, from family history to global perspective. Armed with a cache of correspondence, McCullough reveals the staunch father who instilled strong principles of discipline and imagination. The sister who provided emotional support to the point of near spinsterhood. The colleagues who encouraged, the competitors who undercut. The Ohio hometown where they focused their brains, and — most familiar to local readers — the isolated Carolina isle that touched their hearts.


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But while we fixate on those 12 short seconds, it’s the years that come that test their mettle, as the brothers fight to perfect their invention and prove it to the world — all while battling would-be aviators from D.C. to Paris to break new records and avoid deadly crashes. It’s these passages that prove most inspirational. For every moment McCullough focuses on struggles, worries and disappointments, he pulls powered-flight’s pioneers back to earth. They cease being gods — and become people. And that only makes their achievements more monumental. — C. White Act fast, you can still catch David McCullough signing and reading from The Wright Brothers, Sun., May 24, at First Flight High School. Learn more at www.bryanculturalseries.com.

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Their local materpeice is your latest muse. Photo Whalehead

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Dazzle your senses — and help local causes — with this summer’s fundraising art festivals.


14th Annual Under the Oaks Art Festival When: June 23 (10am-6pm); June 24 (10am-5pm) Where: Whalehead in Historic Corolla Why: This long-running expo began as a way to bring a real, juried art show to the Northern Beaches. Fourteen years later, as many as 100 booths await under the limbs of Whalehead Park’s scenic oaks, helping to raise money for the historic site while artists share the love of their individual crafts. “For us, it’s always exciting to have so many talents in one place,” says Currituck County’s Stuart Chamberlain. “And visitors can always find something that’s one-ofa-kind.” What to Expect: Expect food and drink. Expect jewelry, watercolors, paintings and photography. And expect 80 to 100 artisans from Florida to Corolla to flex their skills for a shot at cash awards, with all remaining proceeds — and the $5 parking fee — supporting Whalehead’s preservation and cultural programs.

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For the most current info on these shows all summer long, search each individual event name on Facebook. Or go to www. visitwhalehead.com, www.obbrewing.com, www.windmillpointartfair.com and www. spinfinitedesigns.com.

3rd Annual Brews & Arts Festival When: Mondays, June 8-Aug. 31; 4-8pm Where: Outer Banks Brewing Station, KDH Why: Painters, potters, jewelers and more pack the Brew Pub’s backyard for this third annual gathering. Kids can climb the pirate ship. Adults can indulge in tasty works of art (along with a few pints). And all attendees can score a cool new piece — or make one themselves. “Our new ‘make and take’ project lets people create using upcycled materials,” says organizer Christina Deneka, who makes homemade body products under the name Hollow Daze Surf Design. “Supporting the arts, showcasing local talent and giving back to the community are at the heart of this special collaboration.” What to Expect: Expect 13-plus local artists, from prints and paintings by Carolina Coto, to seashell mobiles by Beth Fleishaker, to Deneka’s own lavender lemongrass soaps. And — while there’s no fee to enter — expect to drop a dollar or two in a donation jar to help fund Outer Banks Children at Play’s non-profit educational museum.

Windmill Point Art Fair When: June 4, July 2, Aug. 6; 10am-6pm Where: Outer Banks Event Site, Nags Head Why: Forty-plus artists from here to Hampton Roads converge every third Thursday in summer to share their wares in a relaxed setting — and in the freshly remade Outer Banks Event Site — for an all-volunteer production where the only rule is show your own work. “We only require proof that a vendor is not a ‘reseller’ of something purchased,” says Communications Liaison, Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan. “Otherwise, anyone who makes a handmade item that they wish to sell is eligible to participate. We don’t even require tents — much less white tents. Why limit creative people to one color?” What to Expect: Expect killer photos by Ray Matthews and Roy Edlund. Expect carvings and peeps by Vic and Ellen Berg, rustic art by Frank Moore and paintings by James Melvin — plus another 40 or so favorite names and fresh faces. This year also features food and drink from Striper’s Grill — and an on-site tent by beneficiary Children at Play — set in a casual outdoor canvas where even the grounds are alive with color.

Island Art Shows When: May 25, July 3, Sept. 4 (10am-5pm); Sept. 5 (10am-4pm); Oct. 16 (10am-5pm) Where: Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center Why: Leave the bustle of town behind and head south for a swirl of creative energy. And in typical island style, the tight-knit crew recycles proceeds back to the community by raffling off pieces for deserving non-profits, such as Hatteras Island Meals, Outer Banks SPCA and Surfing for Autism. “This is a perfect opportunity to celebrate arts of all kinds,” says Randi Machovec of Spinifite Designs, “while giving back to local causes.” What to Expect: Expect Kim Mosher’s colored pencils, Pete LeWando’s fine art photography and sea glass jewelry by Pem Bryant. Expect lunch by Waves Market and Deli and live music. And expect to pick up a cool piece for the wall — and a raffle ticket for your pocket. Both do a great deal to make the Outer Banks a more beautiful place to live. “It really does take a village to make these amazing events happen,” says Machovec. “We could not do it without everyone that participates.” — Julie Southard milepost 19

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Mary Basnight photography

thirty years.

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“Which floor ye be needin’?” Photo: Rich Coleman/ Ryan Moser

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For Ben Cherry, playing Blackbeard is part inspirational — part educational.


Have I always been a pirate? Well, I did get my drama degree from ECU. I even went to New York to give acting a shot. Would probably still be there, but I came home to Plymouth to help run the family business. I’d pretty much gotten theatre out of my system when somebody suggested that I audition for a Blackbeard play over in Bath. When production stopped, I ended up with the costume so I contacted the county schools about doing a history presentation, including a drug awareness message. Another school found out. And another. Now it’s been 29 years and the only thing I get paid for is being Blackbeard.


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I’ve done schools from Boston to Florida. I’ve played talent shows and pirate festivals


from Ontario, Canada to Beaumont, Texas. And people here mostly see the Jolly Roger ad, but I’ve been on TV lots of times — the History Channel, Learning Channel, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel. In spring and fall, I speak to school groups at the hotels on the beach. I always stay in character — and I use live black powder pistols. I’m sure people all over the Comfort Inn can hear me. But I want to show kids that history can be interesting — that it can be exciting. The hair and beard are mine, but the color isn’t — I use Lady Clairol #122. The last time I shaved was April of 1986, but I still don’t have a great beard. It’s skimpy and scrawny in places. That’s the good thing about Blackbeard having worn ribbons. The bad

thing? They take forever to tie. I learned decades ago how to twist red floral wire into itsy bitsy bows, but it still takes about 15 minutes.

“I learned decades ago how to twist red floral wire into itsy bitsy bows.”

I always drive in costume. I’ll even fly in costume. And when we go to the Cayman Islands for their pirate festival celebration, we have to stay in costume — even when we eat. It would be nice to be in a pair of shorts

and a T-shirt — instead of heavy pirate boots and full-length frock coat jackets. But there’s no time to change. Right when you start enjoying the beach, it’s about time to go to work. So what I usually do is leave the ribbons in and throw on swim shorts and go lay out by the pool. But I’m a pretty damn good entertainer and educator. Not to brag, just fact. And sometimes I don’t think I’ve done that much. Then I look back on all the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, and I think, “Damn, I’ve done a lot.” And let me tell you something: it beats the snot out of a real job. Interview by Sarah Hyde milepost 21

Some folks sweat swimsuit season. These people live for it.




Can you guess which of these two lovely creatures is selling a fantasy? Who sports skimpy nylon as a piece of summertime sizzle? And who wears next-tonothing because it fits who they are? The answer? Neither. Or maybe it’s both. But scan the faces and bodies of the Outer Banks’ rank-and-file, you’ll see bathing suits are more than just a cheeky fashion statement. They’re symbols of a less-is-more lifestyle philosophy we’ve come to embrace. A proven piece of functional clothing — sometimes even work attire — worn day in, day out. From pre-dawn hours to well after midnight. What they do when they wear them? Well, that’s often as different as stripes and solids. Plaids and polka dots. But man or woman, bikinis or boardshorts, it’s the one piece of clothing we all live for — and live in — as long as the weather allows. (And sometimes longer.)

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The Beach Book's Official Guide to the Outer Banks


SHOWCASING MENUS, ACTIVITIES, RETAIL SHOPS, FI S H I NG, TI DE CHARTS, GOLF, MAPS, LO CA L STO R I E S , M A P S , F E R R Y S C H E D U LE , Images by: Chris Bickford, Chris Hannant & Daniel Pullen Words by: Speedo McKnight Photo: Chris Bickford


The Beach Book & The Beach Explorer 2015 Edition’s will be delivered to each home in the Outer Banks. If your copy is damaged, or you would like to obtain extra copies please visit our offices at, 1518 S Memorial Blvd. in Kill Devil Hills. milepost 23

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Full disclosure: these are not Kim Franks’ normal work duds. Most summer days, she ditches the bikini for much burlier gear: loose cotton pants; long shirts; high boots. After nearly 25 years mowing lawns and lugging mulch beneath a hot Outer Banks sun — beside a bypass crowded with whistle-happy horn dogs — she knows the less skin showing the better. “It’s not my brightest moments when I’m working,” laughs the KDH resident. “My hair’s in a bun underneath a big hat. My shirt and pants are dirty. I’ve got sunscreen all over me. I’ll see clients on the beach sometimes and they ask me if I have a twin.” But it’s all that hard labor that keeps the 43-year-old beauty looking so hot. It’s also kept her alive for as long as she can remember. As a girl growing up in Hollywood, Florida, Kim’s parents owned their own landscaping biz. While other kids hit the beach, she whacked weeds. When she left home for the Outer Banks in 1989, she swore she’d never touch another power mower and took on waiting tables. Then she bought her first house at the tender age of 19. That’s when she learned lawns don’t take care of themselves. Neither do mortgage payments.

photo: John Livingston

“I was so broke,” she recalls. “All the older people on my block saw me fixing my yard up and were like, ‘I wish we had someone to do that.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it!’ Within a few years, I was making more in my neighborhood than I was in the restaurant.” Two decades later, she’s upgraded houses, gone through a stable of John Deere tractors, and piled up a list of 237 clients, from South Nags Head to Corolla. Local banks to big-ass houses. Not bad for the Outer Banks’ first female landscaper. And while it might be easy to attribute her success to an infectious laugh and killer smile, her colleagues are quick to say her success isn’t about good looks or gender. It’s all healthy attitude and sweat equity.

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“I know people see you riding a mower and think it’s easy,” says Rick Cohen of Outer Banks Landscaping. “But the toughest parts are the things you don’t see. It’s fixing problems. ‘What happened to my lawnmower? What’s wrong with my truck?’ Just lifting the tailgate 20 times a day is labor intensive.” And Kim does it all by herself — almost. Any irrigation or major tree work she’ll farm out. And she’s quick to hire an extra hand for huge installs. But she handles the business, from the daily mowing to the non-stop stress. “Monday mornings are tough,” she says. “I look at my list and think, ‘How am I gonna get all this done? But by Friday, I feel like I won the lottery. [laughs] So it’s really rewarding. And in some ways my business is my saving grace. Because it’s taught me that no matter how tough life gets — no matter what the situation is — if you keep swimming upstream, you’ll eventually succeed.” You may even get a break. Come winter, she bolts town for even more fun in the sun, traveling the planet from Baja to Bali. The past two years she’s settled down on the North Shore of Oahu for three whole months of warm water, plenty of waves and easy pace. Ironically, it took a natural disaster to really fit into the island life. “When we had that 50-foot swell two winters ago, it totally destroyed Rocky Point like a hurricane would,” she remembers. “And we’re used to that kind of destruction, but people there were like, ‘Oh, Lord! What do we do?!’”

WORKING GIRL Sorry, fellas. Kim Franks already has a sugar daddy — and his name is John Deere.

Kim knew exactly what to do — she pitched in. She began by helping an elderly neighbor sandbag his oceanfront house, then spent the next two days putting the whole multi-acre compound back together. When the man asked for a bill, she said, “Pay it forward.” Instead, he paid her back by hiring her to come back this past season as the official caretaker. Check her Instagram feed, you’ll see an endless mirage of images from the North Shore, also known as the “Seven-Mile Miracle.” Billion-dollar beach walks. Bombing contest photos. And untold selfies of Kim sharing smiles with Hawaiian surf royalty. And all she had to do was keep an eye on the tenants

and tackle a little bit of yard work. Very little.

Photo: Chris Bickford

“I basically trim the bushes, cut the grass and blow off the driveway each day,” she says. “And instead worrying about 60 lawns a week, I do one.” It’s almost like doing summer all over. Except the work is cut-time — and the beach is full-time. So does that mean the bikini is full-time, as well? “Absolutely!” she laughs. “I’ll be out there in my bathing suit each morning — got a chainsaw in one hand, coffee in the other. I’m sure the renters don’t know what to do with themselves.” milepost 25


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Roberto Moraga was born in one of the world’s coolest beach towns. Then he adopted another.



He’s a life-long ocean lover. A man of faith and family who’d do anything to help his neighbor. A blue-collar hero, equally ready to frame a house or dunk a deep fryer. Sounds like a bio ripped straight from the book of Outer Banks stereotypes. Except one thing: Roberto Moraga isn’t even from the U.S. In fact, you might say he’s from a different world. “My whole first winter I couldn’t stop freezing — even indoors,” laughs Roberto, who moved here in 2009 from balmy Nicaragua. “I wanted to go home! Then summer came and I was happier.” Probably because both places are so similar. Sure, Central America’s Pacific coastline looms with cliffs while ours succumbs to a sandy Atlantic. And there are more sheet metal shanties than seven-figure rentals. But, the soul of Las Salinas is still a tiny coastal village. One that plies its living from the sea either by catching fish — or hooking tourists — full of sun-struck locals who grow up sweating in trunks and sandals. Maybe that’s why Outer Bankers were some of the first tourists to visit Nicaragua in the early 2000s. Drawn by a friendly vibe where newcomers and natives worked side-by-side to survive, whether building a house for future expats or making breakfast for surf fiends. Roberto grew up doing both. It was against this romantic backdrop that he met his future wife and local Outer Banks artist, Dawn Gray. In 2005, the fiery redhead began doing mission work on the Nicaraguan coast, returning each summer to teach painting to kids and run horse tours. The moment she saw Roberto sweating and shirtless beneath the Nicaraguan sun, she was overcome with passion. Sort of. “Actually, we were just friends for a long time,” says Dawn. “But we grew closer. And one day, I was flying home and it hit me, ‘He’s the one.’”


Photo: Daniel Pullen

The biggest culture shock would come in 2011, when Hurricane Irene wrecked Hatteras. With no work — and no bridge — the couple fled north to Kill Devil Hills. Roberto scored a job building houses for Finch & Company. Instead of pouring concrete slabs, he began learning carpentry and painting — a whole new set of skills — right beside some of the very surfers he first met in Nicaragua. He also learned a valuable lesson. “For me, all that change showed me that God opens doors,” he says. “Because we always thought we would move back to Nicaragua one day. Then, right after I got the job, Dawn got pregnant with Bella. And everything will be better for Bella here.” It already is. In fact, this spring, the family moved into a new house in Kitty Hawk. Roberto did much of the construction himself. All winter, he’d get off from his paid gig doing knockdown and paint, then go put in long nights trimming doorways and laying floors. And always in the same gear: trunks, shoes and no shirt. Just like back home. Even in the clutches of another subzero season. “He’s actually gotten a lot better about the cold,” says Dawn. “I complain more than he does. But I do think he’d be gone by now if we lived in a city. If we go to VB for a few days, he’s like, ‘Get me out of here.’” Instead, every year, they return to Nicaragua to show off Bella to family and friends. Check on their horses and ten acres of farmland. And to see the latest round of big changes. Barely two decades since its first brush with tourism, Las Salinas bulges with new restaurants. The roads are dusty with rental jeeps. There’s even a regional airport being planned nearby. And if you think the bypass was an economic boom for Dare County, imagine what the prospect of daily flights does for a Third World resort town.

In 2009, their multi-summer romance became a November wedding. Two months later, Dawn and Roberto headed back to the States to take on all the changes of a new life together. Especially Roberto, who learned Outer Bankers also labor year round. But they also make a lot more money.

With each new development comes more opportunity — especially for a native son who can speak English. Last visit, someone offered Roberto a sweet job as a surf guide. And yet, the couple’s not ready to bail — at least not full-time. Not only because they care about Bella’s future, but because they’ve fallen in love with their present.

“My first check was around $800 for two weeks,” he recalls of his days doing double shifts in Buxton kitchens. “In Nicaragua I was making $130 a month. But people there live nothing like here — many people still have dirt floors.”

“Now when I go home, I miss it here,” Roberto grins. “I tell you something: when you go some place you don’t know at all, and you find out you have friends there — and they really are your friends. It’s good, man. It’s really good.” milepost 27

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Patty Hughes makes sure Kitty Hawk Ocean Rescue stays well-fed — and fully appreciated.

It all began with a small snack from Wink’s. Maybe a bag of chips. Or some M&Ms. Just something little to bring back from Eckner Street’s corner market and share with whoever was on duty. Before she knew it, Patty Hughes was making extra sandwiches and cutting up whole watermelons on a daily basis, treating every Kitty Hawk lifeguard like they had the most important job in the world. Which — when you think about it — they do. “I grew up in Kansas,” says the extra-peppy 68-year-old. “We didn’t have an ocean, we had swimming pools. So when I started taking the kids to the beach, I wanted to be close to the lifeguards.” Not that Patty hasn’t done her time on a beach. (If you can’t tell from her bronzed behind, just check her rear license plate: “LUV TAN.”) In fact, for 20 years, the former paralegal and her husband made frequent family trips from Newport News to a KDH summer home. When their daughter moved

Photo: Chris Hannant

to Kitty Hawk’s Seascape in 2000, they bought nearby. Once Patty started taking the grandkids across the street, she discovered an extended family of friendly neighbors, anchored by a closeknit ocean rescue team. “We only have three stands and maybe ten lifeguards,” says Patty. “They can tell us things about our kids’ swimming habits that we never even noticed. So they really do watch over everyone.” And in return, she watches over them. Each morning she fills a cooler with lots of fruit and two extra sandwiches — one for whoever is on duty, and one extra just in case. She knows which ones hate mayo or loves mustard. Last year, she even sewed them little bags to keep their keys and phones out of the sand. (The talented seamstress also sells them at Wink’s to raise funds for animal shelters like Feline Hope and the SPCA.) But Patty does more than watch over the guards on duty. She keeps the beach on its toes, informing newcomers of the way things work — and making sure locals do the right thing.

“I’ve seen her walk over and warn visitors about currents before they go in,” says Cole Yeatts, Kitty Hawk’s Ocean Rescue Director. “And if the kids’ area starts looking trashy, I can say something to her and know it’ll get picked up. So she’s a great ambassador for the beach community — even if she does spoil the guards a bit.” [laughs] Actually, the whole Seascape neighborhood does. Come July, they even host a Lifeguard Appreciation Day. But Patty’s the only one who gets invited to the rescue team’s year-end banquet. And spend a few hours at Eckner, you’ll understand why, as she bounces between beach chairs, sharing food and sunshine — and maybe a piece of her mind — creating a safe atmosphere for children and a relaxing place for parents. Just as calm and serene as the most private pool. Which is what everyone wants, right? “Never!” she insists. “That’s why I love the beach — the activity. I love swimming in the waves, watching skimboarders and chatting with friends. I can’t stand to sit by a pool anymore — it drives me nuts.”

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“To me, there’s a greater risk of doing the same thing than there is of being different — even a little bit crazy.” How crazy? Start by selling a successful development business at the height of a land boom. Next, build a luxury resort in a land defined by rugged self-reliance. Then, top it off by twisting up a handlebar mustache and calling yourself “Mayor.” “Tourism is all about unique experiences,” says Joe Thompson, the 51-year-old founder of Avon’s Koru Village. “Hatteras Island has always been a place where people make their own adventure — they go fish, kayak or kiteboard — and that’s what I love about it. But that’s not everyone. Some people need their hand held when they walk to the edge.” Not Joe. When he moved here after college 30 years ago, he was chasing the wind. (Along with his future wife, Tammy.) The economics major found he had a knack for building — and business. By 2000, his Lands End Real Estate and Development was creating whole neighborhoods. And Hatteras was attracting a new type of visitor. In 2005, Joe thought, why not create a gym and yoga studio for suburban fitness junkies? And a spa and salon to pamper surf widows and bridal parties? To him it looked like a plush, pillow-sized gap in the market. To everyone else? “I don’t think anyone believed it would work — not even my wife,” Joe laughs. “But I’ve got a fairly creative mind when it comes to building things that don’t exist. And like any other artistic talent, you’ve got to feed that thing.”

In a land of rustic adventure, Joe Thompson wants folks to feel pampered.


Photo: Daniel Pullen

And he’s been feeding it ever since. By 2009, his construction offices were converted to comfy villas. In 2012, he bought the pool across the street and added a music venue for live bands and wedding parties. The final piece came last year when he purchased Avon Pier, securing oceanfront access and a full-service restaurant.

“Any successful resort needs beds, food and beverage, amenities and entertainment,” he explains. “That’s the formula — but capturing people’s imaginations is what makes me want to push forward.” Today, Koru Village is a turquoiseand-white stripe of tropical flair. Full of weekly luaus and hourly comforts. By day, mom can book a manicure or massage while the kids take a kayak tour or rent an SUP. By night, anyone can see a rock band or watch live fire dancing. But it’s more than a summer playground — it’s become a community focal point. In winter, locals lift weights in the gym or hoist pints at Pangea Tavern. In spring, the Beach Klub hosts the high school prom and benefits like Rock The Cape. Come July 4, it’s ground zero for Hatteras Island’s fireworks show. Not bad for a vision most people thought would never leave the launching pad. “I watched the whole thing go up from across the street,” says longtime pier manager, Keith Matthews. “I was sure he’d be in another line of work by now. But folks seem to love it. And there’s probably a lot more healthy people on the island now.” Including Joe. Six days a week, he hikes from pier house to spa, picking up litter, pressing the flesh, serving as friendly Mr. Mayor to fancy guests and pier trolls alike. In fact, he may be the one person who never relaxes — but he’s also the most chill in his surroundings. “Each one of us is born with talent and tools that have never existed on the planet,” he says. “People are afraid to express themselves. But the key is leaving all that fear behind. That’s the secret to not just surviving — but thriving.” milepost 31

s r o o d t u O e h T y o Enj This Summer!

His face has a thousand freckles — but no whiskers. Two big dimples. Zero wrinkles. And yet, something about John Canning feels more Hemingway than Huck Finn. Like the way he locks eyes while shaking hands. Or bookends his sentences with “yes, sirs” and “no, sirs.” Even his youthful smile is strikingly mature. A mix of humble confidence and healthy respect — especially when he’s talking about his favorite subject. “I’ve loved fishing since I was 2 or 3,” states the young Hatterasman. “My dad runs two commercial boats and a charter boat. I’d be around the docks, picking up fish and helping the guys out, so Mr. Steve Bailey asked me if I wanted a job. I was 10 years old.” Today, he’s 14. And in those past three summers, he’s quickly shimmied up the ranks of Bailey’s Risky Business Seafood, a combo retailer/fish house right on Oden’s Dock in Hatteras Village. Instead of hosing down boats and decks, John helps weigh and clean the catch for incoming offshore charters. The moment a boat arrives, he and three cohorts fly into action like an assembly line in reverse, converting whole fish into pieces faster than you can say “Henry Ford.” “Outlining and skinning is my main thing,” says John. “Outliners trace the outside with a knife so the next guy can rip the skin off. Then they go to the end of the table where they filet ’em out and put ’em in a bag.” John reckons he can outline 20 tuna in about 40 minutes — or 60 mahi-mahi in half that time. You’ve got to be fast. Because when the boats come in, they usually tie up all at once. Either that or they don’t show at all. John’s never sure how busy he’ll be. He might work straight ’til 11pm — or get cut loose immediately. He just knows to be at the dock by 3pm, sharp. If the boats are lucky, and people are friendly, he’ll leave a few hours later, trunks covered in fish scales — the back pocket lined with dollars.

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“I actually started letting John handle the tips because people don’t hand a 60-year-old man money like they will a 12-year-old,” laughs Bailey. “But John’s a real go-getter. And his heart is in fishing. You ought to see his tackle box — he’s got everything you can imagine. But that’s alright, ’cause he’s earned the money.” And he’ll earn it anyway possible. If he’s not cleaning folks’ seafood, he’s working on the headboat, baiting hooks and untangling lines. If a captain needs help, John’s willing to mate offshore in a pinch or cruise the sound setting crab pots. When fall comes, he’ll hop aboard one of his dad’s commercial boats, hauling in thousands of pounds of king mackerel — then he’ll head back to port and help clean the lot. Even Spring Break isn’t cause for a vacation. Two years ago, while boys his age were off on a Disney cruise, he was 50 miles offshore, long-lining for swordfish in 5000 feet of water and heaving seas. “It was nasty,” he admits. “The swell was 10 to 14 feet. And we were out for five days, pulling in lines the whole time.” And while John says he might have been queasy, he’s not scared. If anything, he’s committed to continue learning the trade with plans to get his captain’s license the day he turns 18. After that, he says the only choice is whether to run charters, fish commercially, or both — though his mom and dad might say otherwise. “We still want him to go to college first,” says John’s mom, Hatteras native Leann Canning. “Because we want him to have options. Commercial fisheries

The Waterfront Shops • Duck


John Canning’s done a world of fishing in just 14 years.


Photo: Daniel Pullen

can close anytime because of regulations. Charter fishing is a question of the overall economy. Either way, it’ll be a rough go. But his father fishes, his grandfather fishes — it’s in his blood.” It’ll be even more so this summer, as he helps aboard his dad’s charter boat as a full-time mate. Instead of going to work at 3pm, he’ll be up at four in the morning — readying Reliance and rigging tackle, before heading out to sea for eight hours or more. And if the boat’s not

booked? He’ll be back on the dock, cutting with Mr. Steve and the gang. As long as he’s handling fish, he’s happy — whether he’s gaffing a tuna or just squeezing fish guts. “That’s actually my favorite part,” John grins with a touch of adolescent mischief. “There’s something cool about reaching in and pulling ’em out.” And with that, the wizened old salt is suddenly just another fun-loving 14-year-old. milepost 33

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FLOW Some coastal girls cruise through life — Lindsey Herring floats.

“I’m all over the place — I don’t even know where I’m living this summer.” Lindsey Herring’s voice starts to crack a bit as she discusses her immediate future. But it’s not fear. Or worry. It’s just the Viber app on her cell phone, which allows her to call long-distance from the depths of Costa Rica. In fact, while most people would be sweating not having a place lined up by late April — much less a full-time job — Lindsey remains upbeat and giggly, completely comfortable in her complete lack of plans. “I basically do this every year,” laughs the freshly turned 30-year-old. “I go with the flow and it somehow works out — at least so far.” Over the years, she’s bounced from NYC to ECU, but if there’s a fixed point in her existence, it’s here, as the Goldsboro, NC, native’s spent the past 18 straight summers on the Outer Banks. She first came down at age 12, after her mom re-married an Avon charter captain. Each year she returned, stockpiling the usual happy, teen experiences — meeting boys, catching rays, bussing tables — but the real life-changer came at the ripe age of 20. “I still remember my first wave,” Lindsey recalls. “It was beautiful. My boyfriend had tried to teach me all summer, but that didn’t work out so well. So I started teaching myself. Just trial and error.” Mostly error. As fun as surfing is to do, the learning process is surprisingly difficult. It’s not just finding your balance. It’s reading the ocean. Understanding the rules. The older you get, the more frustrating it is. But after five years of wiping out and standing up again, she felt more than confident — she felt competent enough to help other beginners get started. Suddenly, she discovered that being a late bloomer was a major bonus. “You have to remember these people have no idea what to expect,” says Robert Farmer of Farmdog Surf School, where Lindsey scored her first gig. “Lots of times, surfers who learned at 8 or 10, they forget how hard it is to learn — how nervous you are just being in the ocean. Clients loved Lindsey because she was great at communicating and keeping them comfortable.” In other words: it takes a newbie to teach a newbie. After three summers filling in at different schools, she decided to try it year-round. Last winter, she cruised down to Costa to continue baptizing rookies at a Nosara retreat. Sounds like an endless vacation, but pushing families from sandbar to shore, three lessons each day, can be grueling — even in the smallest conditions. Add some extra size and it’s downright risky. “You always want people to stand up at least once,” she explains. “This winter I had this woman who was somewhat larger and was having trouble, so I took her out to where the waves were bigger. As I pushed, the leash got wrapped around my head. It pulled so hard I thought she’d ripped my ears off.” [laughs] Still, while it may sometimes be hard on the body, all that water time is good for her soul — and her surfing. It’s basically the perfect summer job: regular work with flexible hours. By day, she can push wobbly-legged rug rats into waist-high combers. By night she can pick up a catering shift. In between, she can score a session for herself. Drifting from one moment to the next, while leaving impressions that last a lifetime.

Photo: Chris Bickford

“When you see someone who has never been on a board catch their first wave — and you see the joy in their face — that’s so rewarding,” Lindsey says. “Because you know that’s a memory they’ll never forget.” milepost 35

Part hide-and-seek. Part “keep up with the Joneses.” Anxious families battle to book the highest-priced home with the biggest movie screen and plushest pool — only to arrive and discover they can’t tell them apart.


The path to powered flight was long and hard. Follow in the Wright Bros.’ footsteps with a cactus-studded march up the hill — then share their pain by pulling spines from your shoelaces.


Relive colonial times with this historick collec-


Kick off your beach vacation with a blend of bumper-car and traffic crawl. Honk at your neighbors! Curse at your kids! And remember: the longer the wait, the better the ride! Open 10-6pm, Sat and Sun.


A face-melting mix of water park, chill zone and Tiki bar rolled into one big, sandy pile. But as every theme park fan will attest, even the sickest rollercoaster feels supertame after a week. Meanwhile, the most-lasting thrills often happen in between rides — whether it’s sizing up hotties waiting in line or throwing up outside the beer garden. Use our handy map to find — or avoid — your next lifetime memory, any of which can happen when you least expect it.



Our real-life wave pool provides hours of water time — even when you don’t want it. Watch as the surf sucks you far out to sea, before a real life rescuer reels you back in! (If you’re lucky.)


Those SUVs in Carova think they’re so tough! Show ‘em who’s boss by flooring your sedan straight into the sand — then spend the day spinning tires and digging out.


With Corolla’s wild horse stocks getting tragically inbred, experts are importing a few bucking studs from outside gene pools. Will Gus get lucky? Peep behind the bushes for a real education in animal husbandry.

Think you can beat the distracted drivers and danger lane while crossing the bypass? Find out in our high-speed version of Human Frogger.


Start with a trek across searing sand hills, then dive-bomb your hangliding instructors as you take a first-class flight to the dunes below.


Forget the beach for a day! Stock-up on small-town nostalgia and a few sea-themed knick-knacks, with shopping full of arts, crafts and culture! Sorry, no caricatures. (At least not yet.)




Take a lovers’ stroll down 13 miles of wide-open beach — and clothing-optional pursuits.


Above, thousands of cars race to get over as quickly as possible — below, raging torrents and legal trolls bash the pilings — and everyone wonders: when will this deathtrap finally topple?


This nightly game of cops and rummies pits “one for the roaders” against “law and order.” The one challenge where a night in the pokey beats a ride to the morgue. Open 10pm-5am.

Unwind and untwine in this high-octane crash course of kiteboard instruction — and destruction — as you fly into your fellow enthusiasts and an electrifying display of power lines.

CLOSED for much needneeded regulatory renovations. Come back in 2016. (We hope.)


Take a thigh-crushing walk to the top of the coast’s tallest lighthouse — then drop loogies on unsuspecting victims below. But make sure Ranger Rick don’t catch you and boot you back down the stairway.


Wish your pegboy was more like a pirate? Drop the wee ones off for a crash course in sweating seawater, hauling fish and cursing up a storm.


Come on vacation… Leave on probation.


tion of Ye Islande Farme, Ye Outdoore Playe, Ye Flowere Gardene and Ye Big Olde Boate — plus hear a selection of slightly more modern musical acts at Ye Olde Ampitheatre.

The captain drives the vessel, the mates catch the fish and the passengers drain cases of beer in this alcoholic, offshore adventure. (Warning: take Dramamine the night before, or you’ll spend the day on Mr. Yak’s Wild Ride.)


Fling a handful of Fritos into the sky — then wait for flocks of seabirds to drop globs of fun on the whole family. Don’t look away! You won’t want to miss a single, slick second of this jawdropping experience.


How much crap can one tourist couple bring to the beach? Find out with this all-day obstacle course of coolers, chairs, umbrellas and circus tents.


Step into another dimension of deep-fried delights — and frightening dining habits. A world where table manners tragically disappear and wait-times and parents screech to a halt.


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+ + + + “What happened?” Whether you’re being put in the back of an ambulance or barely surviving a terrible hangover, chances are you’d rather forget what you’re trying to remember. And yet, all summer, it remains one of the most commonly uttered phrases, from inside a jail cell to the bottom of a stairwell. Not just by the visitors and locals who somehow stumble their way into bad situations, but by the people who inevitably pull them out. (And occasionally put them there.) We asked three former public servants — one lifeguard, one police officer and one paramedic — to offer up some classic examples of human behavior gone horribly wrong. Consider it a collection of cautionary tales to keep you free from jail, out of traction — and intact ‘til season’s end.


Illustrations by Travis Fowler.


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One lifeguard’s anthropological journey down the evolutionary water slide.

THere’s no place like the beach . . . It’s really a big social experiment. You see so many segments of human culture — young and old, men and women, educated and not-so-educated — with little clothing and no trappings. And 85 percent of people never go into the water past their shoulders, so they’re all corralled between the high-water line and the dunes. So you have the man in a Confederate t-shirt, tattoos and flowing mullet teaching a girl from Youbetcha, Wisconsin how to fish. And everybody’s comfortable and getting along. That’s the best side. The worst side is when you have to respond to a fight first thing Sunday morning because three guys are scrapping over the last beer. And it’s, like, “Really? Can’t you wait ’til noon?” Or you get the child who doesn’t want to leave the beach, so he pees on another kid’s sandcastle. And how everyone reacts to that and how well it goes? Well, that depends on the people. There may be a group of people that lead very flamboyant, alternative lifestyles, doing body painting on the beach. And then right next to them you have a staunchly conservative college reunion. And they’re there all week, looking sideways at each other. And what you’ve got is kind of a powder keg situation. And all it’s going to take is for the football to land in the wrong spot. So you have to approach every scenario with an open mind. Because the more energy you put into something, the more energy is going to come back at you. I had a gun pulled on me once. A guy was out of his mind. He’d been drinking on the beach all day long — and smoking on the beach all day long — and very indiscriminately launching the cigarette butts as far as he could, to the point where he’d almost burned a child, which was how we got involved. I said, “Hey buddy, you dropped this,” or something else smart-ass trying to lighten the mood — he walked to his car, pulled out a revolver and said, “Who’s the funny guy now?” But so much of this stuff is just crazy situational. And sometimes you can’t

even tell what the situation is. A girl gets hit by a wave and starts waving her hands wildly, and you think she needs a rescue — and what she really needs is a towel because she lost her bathing suit. And that’s almost scarier, because nothing — nothing — will polarize a beach like a topless girl. So pulling people out of the water is one tenth of the job. The other part is preventing these situations from happening. It’s handling the person who’s using that horrible, spray-on sunscreen. And the wind is blowing so hard that none of it is reaching its intended destination. So they start spraying even more — and every molecule is blowing away toward the couple downwind. And now they’re choking and fuming — literally. Are they wrong to be mad? No. But that doesn’t mean they get to swing into action. So, the biggest thing we’d try to do is get the people involved to understand a different point of view. I’d say, “I need you to step back from your position and see it from this other person’s position — or perhaps my position — and think, What would you do?” Some people are convinced you put the red flags up simply because you think they can’t swim. And they are sure it’s their right to go into the ocean because they spent a bunch of money on their vacation. But lifeguards don’t make judgments on any single person’s ability to swim — they make judgments on the lowest common denominator’s ability to swim and the staff’s to safely react and keep everyone drawing wind. Other people wake up at dawn and dash down to the beach to stake a claim. They put four beach chairs in four corners and throw things as wide as possible. They come down hours later and somebody’s moved it all. They go nuts. And they expect the guy on the stand to be the police. They don’t realize that’s not really the job — or that renting a house doesn’t grant land rights all the way to the water.

Drunks? I could go on and on about drunks. We’d find people buried in beer cans, passed out, burned as hell, their friends all pointing and laughing. But those are opportunities to say something. And what I’d usually say is, “Funny, guys. But he really needs some sunscreen. And you’re gonna want to hang out with this guy tomorrow, so think about how far you want to push this.” People love digging big holes. They’re not thinking about an old man breaking his ankles or a toddler drowning in sand, they’re just having fun. So we’d tell them, “Dig your hole beneath the high water line so the tide fills them up. Don’t try connecting sand tunnels if you want to stay alive.” Take care of each other. That’s the main message. And we’d spend a lot of time communicating that message to the pubic, because if you can get people to limit their risk, they can help you do your job. And so many people aren’t prepared to come to the beach. They show up barefoot and discover the sand’s a thousand degrees. Or — worse — they take their children’s shoes off and not their own, because they’re carrying everything. And then they wonder why the kids are screaming. Or they go out on a raft when the wind is blowing offshore and fall asleep. We would find them drifting halfway to Portugal, still paddling east. And we look at each other and think, “Don’t they know the land is this way? Don’t they know sand gets hot?” But we live here; we look at everything with all those years of knowledge and experience. Put us in the mountains and we might walk off a cliff, simply because we haven’t learned any better. We’re all naked apes — and these people are just a few steps behind us in the evolutionary process. milepost 41

I was on the police force for four years . . .

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Mainly, it’s just patrolling and responding to calls. I never went fishing for drunk drivers. I think a lot of cops make that mistake. They end up getting the guy who’s borderline with a burnt out license plate light — and the rummy who’s really wasted drives past. But any time you drink and get behind the wheel on the Outer Banks you’re running the gauntlet. And if we crossed paths, you better not do something dumb. Like this one time I was heading north into Duck. As I drove through that little tunnel of trees and into the village, my headlights hit this vehicle parked on Plover Street. And I could see the shadow of this guy’s head splayed back over the headrest. So I spin around and as I approach the car, I see he’s not even in park — he’s passed out at the stop sign with his foot on the brake. So in typical cop fashion, I tap on the window a few times with my flashlight. He wakes up and sees me, then rolls down the window. You know what he says to me? “How fast was I going?” I called those guys Mr. Step-inCrap — because, I’d just be driving around on patrol and be like, “Oh, some dummy just did that in front of me.” Hell, sometimes they even come right to you. I remember one night I was parked in a parking lot doing my paperwork. So, it’s way early in the morning, like 4am, and I’m beside this building writing away when this car pulls in the parking lot and starts throwing trash out of his car on the pavement — bottles, bags, ketchup packets, cig butts, wrappers — all right in front of me. These are the moments every cop lives for. Because littering is such a lazy, stupid crime, but you can never catch people in the act.

Now, I had my car tricked out with lights everywhere. I had blue ones on top, white ones in every corner. And I was already in idle, so I crept up behind him, real slow and quiet, then took all four fingers and hit everything at once — Blam! I lit him up like a UFO. Now that’s a face I remember. I made him clean everything up off the street and put it back inside his car, and then I wrote him a ticket. It was one of the most satisfying tickets I ever wrote. That guy was just a jackass, but I would say most of what cops see is alcohol related. We’d get calls about some stranger passed out in the wrong house all the time. Mom wakes up to make breakfast for the kids, finds a drunk guy in the living room and calls 911. He just came home late, mixed up rentals and crashed on the couch. Now he’s getting charged with breaking and entering. I remember one time I got a call back in Colington that a woman had put her hand through a glass window. I get there, and she’s cut — and drunk — and she’s holding this kitten. And the EMTs are saying, “Ma’am, you’re bleeding, we need to treat you.” But she won’t go. She’s like, “Nooo…ahhgotmaaaaahhkitten… Icannn’tleeavemaahhhhkitteen…” And she’s wasted and wobbly and talking to her cat. And it’s almost like she thinks the cat’s talking back to her. And I’m one of these people who’s like, “Dude, we need to tie this up. Now.” So, I reach over and grab the cat behind the ears with my thumb and forefinger and start moving its head up an down as I say — in my cutest, kitty voice: “You know, you really should go to the doctor, because you’re bleeding awful bad…” And she looks down at the cat and says, “Okay, kitty-kitty.”


Remember: you have the right to remain silent — and sober. And she gets in the ambulance and off she goes. That stuff sounds funny now, but those calls can go either way. I remember one night, 3am, the radio fires up on all frequencies, like the old show “Adam 12” — “One-Adam-12, One-Adam-12, man with a knife on Hollywood and Vine.” Except instead of Hollywood and Vine, it’s First Flight Village. And instead of a knife, “It’s man with a gun, shots fired.”

So there’s always that fear on every call. But it’s good fear — not cowardice — because it’s fear that keeps you alive. I’ve had people reach for my gun before. And you have to remember that. Because these officers are making splitsecond decisions. They have families they want to go home to, and they’re taking every precaution they can. My advice? Take cabs. Don’t step in anything. And if you do get pulled, keep both hands on the wheel. Ask before

you reach into your dash — especially at night. Be polite. Be respectful. And if a cop writes you a ticket — don’t argue. That’s what court’s for. Just take it, sign it and move on. Even if he’s being a jerk — especially if he’s being a jerk. But most guys I worked with tried to treat everyone fairly. And I tell you this: even that jerk cop will still do everything they can to keep you and your family out of danger — including putting his or her life on the line.

SUMMER OF ROCK 2015 Concert Series

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Oil and Filter 18-Point Inspection Air Pressure Check Tire Rotation

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Visual Inspection of the A/C Components Check Belts Check A/C Temperature & Operation Monitor Air Flow from Vents

Inspection does not include opening the refrigerant portion of the system. Costs will apply for parts and services needed to repair the system. Valid at participating

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People do things on vacation they never do at home . . . It’s like they leave their brains in a little depository on the other side of the bridge. And nobody knows where the hospital or urgent care centers are located, so they call 911 for everything. Minor cuts to decapitations, sunburns to suicides. Paramedics see it all. Someone gets up on a second or third floor deck and tries to jump in the pool — and ends up hitting the concrete. They think they’re going for a swim and end up on a helicopter ride to the hospital. College kids all come down at once. They rent a bunch of places, then they decide to party on the same thirtyyear-old deck. One night, we pulled up and there were 150 kids piled on the lawn. Thank God they were drunk, because most of them just bounced. But it still tied up six ambulances — and we only have 11 total in Dare County — which means someone else is gonna suffer, because we won’t have a truck available to deal with a heart attack or car crash or something more critical. But those big houses are built for trouble. We get domestic disturbances all summer long. People come down with 20 or 30 family members. By Monday, they’ve formed their little cliques. By Wednesday, the tensions start running high. Friday, they’re coming to blows. Someone keeps talking about how little Johnny goes to a private school or whose husband makes more money. A few drinks later, someone slaps someone else or pulls their hair — push comes to shove, and they’re tumbling down the stairs. Or worse. We’ve had situations where someone stormed out of the house and decided to go cool off in the ocean. Three days later they wash up five miles down the beach. Three or four times a year we get called on a search party because a kid’s gone

missing — nine times out of ten they’re hiding in one of 15 bedrooms. And parents put their babies and toddlers in these little sun tents on the beach all day. But when a child is that young, their heads are disproportionately larger than their bodies. They need more than shade. They need to be taken inside regularly to cool off. Several times a week we get called out to a house at 7pm because an infant’s having a febrile seizure and the parents don’t know why. And if you take someone else’s kid on vacation, you need to bring a medical power of attorney — period. Because unless it’s life threatening, the hospital can’t do anything for a child — no CAT scans or MRIs — without mom or dad’s permission. Same thing for DNRs. Maybe someone has a terminal illness and they’re having a final celebration with family. If they’ve signed a Do Not Resuscitate order, they need to bring that form with them. Because the family might say, “He has a DNR,” but I can still be prosecuted by the state for not doing anything. So if they don’t have that piece of paper, we’ve got to work on them. And they’re getting the whole nine yards — defibrillation, IVs, everything — all against their wishes. So much of this stuff is just thinking ahead and using common sense. Making sure people know where you’re going, whether it’s a fishing charter or a walk on the beach, so they know you’re safe and you can be contacted in case of emergency. Walking against traffic. Using crosswalks and bike paths. Everyone worries about the bypass, but more people get hit on the Beach Road. Especially in Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. First, because there’s no real walking area. Second, because the drivers are more distracted — they’re busy searching for house numbers and checking out all the bikinis. And cars need to slow down and be patient. Someone rides the center lane of the bypass for three blocks trying to pass people — and ends up in an ambulance. Or worse. We had one wreck where a guy was very intoxicated

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and hit a family head-on: killed the mom, the dad, the grandmother. The drunk driver ended up being the mom’s brother. So he just killed his sister, his mother, and his brother-in-law — and left his three nephews and nieces without parents. That’s his vacation. But it’s not all horror stories. We got this call of a woman going into labor. The husband had left that morning to go fishing in the sound, so I made the effort to call around to some commercial fishermen I know. We delivered the


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baby, no problems — and not two minutes later the father walks in. And some situations can be pretty funny. Once, we got a call on a possible neck injury at a hotel. We get up to the room and there’s a man laying on the bed with his shorts half-buttoned. His girlfriend’s on the other bed, wrapped in a sheet. And it’s pretty clear what happened: they were in a moment of intense passion, he banged his head, had a temporary loss of sensation in his arms and thought he broke his neck. So we’re all there in their

hotel room, asking questions. They’re embarrassed — but I look over, and there’s a rather large sexual device still on the bed. So I say, “Look! I’ve found the assailant!” You almost need a sick sense of humor to get into this line of work. But it’s one of the most rewarding careers. Because when you see a vast improvement in someone’s life — or save a life — you can’t put words on it. You really can’t — except when you want to smack the crap out of them.

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questionauthority upfront MAKING FRIENDS The Outer Banks Group’s new Superintendent talks about the prospects of more access, better soundcheck communications and a more flexible Park Service.

getactive startingpoint One “closed” sign equals countless negative posts. Pray we see fewer of both by next summer. Photo: Daniel Pullen


Nothing is set in stone. Remember that whenever you’re dealing with the

National Park Service — or any federal agency. Legislations update. Lighthouses move. Leadership changes. Last year, after almost a decade of rocky community relations and contentious debate over access issues in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Outer Banks Group was ready for a fresh face. In December, we got one: David E. Hallac, a biologist and former resource manager for Yosemite, who’ll now oversee the seashore, along with Fort Raleigh and Wright Brothers National Memorial.



“I love community relations issues,” says the New Jersey native and lifelong fisherman, whose prior posts include the Dry Tortugas and Everglades. “Being in the science world, there’s certainly interface with the public, but not as much as when you’re the figurehead for the local organization. So I was just excited about being Superintendent, knowing I could work with a variety of different stakeholder groups and help really build those relationships.”

On April 29, they proposed a “preferred alternative” that not only suggests buffers shrink — by as much as half for vehicles and two-thirds for pedestrians — but proposes hiring more human monitors who could keep a single nest from blocking miles of beach. The key word being “could.”

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He sure got what he wished for. Within days of his hire, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — which included an amendment ordering the Department of Interior to revisit the 2012 ORV ruling and “modify buffers and corridors of the shortest duration possible.” Thus began a hectic first few months on the job, as Hallac and his staff researched the latest science and reached out to all various interests to beat a mid-summer deadline.





“It’s impossible to predict how species will behave and what might happen in years to come,” says Hallac. “We don’t want to set up expectations that this will create immediate changes, but it certainly has flexibility to make things better for ORV and pedestrian access.” If it happens at all. At press time, they were still taking public comment in order to issue a final decision on June 16. And while the new tack is far from a complete reversal of course, it certainly shows a welcome willingness to bend. We sat down with the new boss to discuss the potential ruling and what more flexibility might mean for the future. — Matt Walker

MILEPOST: The Outer Banks must have something of a reputation. Did you know what you were getting into when you applied? SUPERINTENDENT HALLAC: No question, Park Service-wide, people understand that Cape Hatteras is a classic resourcepreservation-versus-access issue. And people make comments like, “Why would you want to get involved at a unit that has that much contention? Where you can barely step away form your iPhone or your computer without getting yelled at?” And park managers can certainly be frustrated by all that input. But I can say — definitively — thank goodness that people care so much. Regardless of what side they’re on, they’re willing to spend time — sometimes money — to weigh in. I’m thankful for that. You were hired before the NDAA was signed. What went through your head? My response was one of mixed emotions. One, we finally had a plan implemented that — although not everyone was happy with it — people were finally getting used to. I thought redoing it could certainly cause some flare-ups. On the other hand, the reality is we’re doing a five-year review in 2017, so this basically fast-forwards some of that work. It looks like the buffers got a lot smaller. It also looks like there may be room for more corridors. Or at least it might be easier to get to Cape Point. Is that right? What we’ve done is try to provide smaller buffers. And that allows for corridors. For example, under the current rule, there is a 1000-meter ORV buffer around piping plover chicks. Alternative B proposes 500 meters. But I’ve learned from our biologists a lot of chicks use the ponds north and west of Cape Point as opposed to the eastern shore facing the Atlantic Ocean. So we’ve also given ourselves the flexibility to go down to 200 meters — but no less — if a particular set of chicks and their 500-meter buffer are preventing access from one place to another. But to maintain the same level of protection, we are proposing additional staff to keep eyes on those chicks so if they come closer to humans or ORVs, we would have the ability to make adjustments to protect them further.

So there may be some opportunities where this flexibility allows for a corridor down the shoreline to Cape Point itself. But it is important to remember: this area is one of the most highly preferred areas for wildlife to nest. There’s a lot of overlap between protected species. And that will make things complicated. That being said, I’m confident the proposal we’ve put forward will provide significantly more flexibility than we’ve had in the past. We won’t find out for sure if those proposals are approved until June 16. But if they are, what are the chances of changes happening this summer? If we choose Alternative B — which is the preferred alternative — it’s going to take a little time to obtain staff so we can make sure we meet our protection commitments. But we’ll do whatever we can with the staff we have this summer, and we would be able to implement all of the changes — if we choose that alternative — next summer. But Congress also asked us to expedite the construction of access points. So we’ve basically taken about three-quarters of a million dollars worth of projects that weren’t going to start or be completed for several years and moved them forward. We’re completing Ramp 25. We’re about to start Ramp 32. We’re going to build a 4-mile unpaved, interdunal road to allow ORVs to go from Ramp 49 to Ramp 45 — which is sort of the Hatteras-to-Frisco campground section. We weren’t going to start that project until 2018 — that will now begin in 2015. Because we heard from people in Frisco that a sea turtle likes to nest right by Ramp 49, which basically closes an entire section of ORV-accessible beach. So now, with some of the things we’re proposing, you would have a defacto corridor. The next step is to review vehicle free areas and consider the seasonal ORV routes in front of the villages to see if we can make those open earlier in the season. And also the nighttime closures and the morning openings, to see if we can open the beaches earlier. And we’ll launch that public process next, hopefully sometime in July. So really, if there’s one thing to stress here — for any pedestrian or ORV user

looking for additional flexibility in terms of our ability to provide access — it’s look at all the pieces, not just one. Still, it’s not immediate. I assume a lot of that is money. Does the law give you any more funding at all to implement changes? Not that I’m aware of. I don’t see anything in the defense authorization bill that authorized any funding. So how does that affect these decisions?

It can be challenging. We get roughly $9 million in federal funding, but our budget — what it takes to run the three NPS units — is more like $14.5 million. The difference comes from a variety of sources — everything from climbing the lighthouse to the entry fee at Wright Brothers. ORV permits generate about $2 million a year — we sell about 30,000, twothirds to weekly visitors. And we spend it back on projects that relate to ORV management in the park. We’ve posted all that information online.

“If there’s one thing to stress in terms of our ability to provide access — it’s look at all the pieces, not just one.” — David E. Hallac

Is that harder when you don’t have a park fee? And is that normal? Or do most parks charge? I don’t know if there is a normal. There are more than 400 NPS units and they’re all very different in the way they receive income. I’d love to see the seashore get a “friends group.” These are groups of people who stay connected with the park unit they love. And they often have philanthropy as a major piece of their organization. It’s not uncommon for the Yellowstone Park Foundation to raise $5 million dollars per year.

Wow. When you say that, I picture people pitching in to fund more ramps. Can they earmark or determine how that money is spent. Is it more complex than that?

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The park makes all resource decisions. But we can tell the friends group our highest priorities. And if those happen to be access projects for walkways or ramps for ORVs, they may help us raise funds to meet them. But it’s not just money. Having a group of volunteer sea turtle nest watchers could allow us to have an ORV corridor longer than if we didn’t have any eyes on that nest at all. So friends can’t dictate policy. But they can speed up process. Still, I’m sure some people will read this and say, “Help the park service? Never!” Could be. It’s hard to know. A lot of people aren’t happy with the way the seashore is managed because of ORVs. But we also have 2 million visitors who come every year who have different experiences and perceptions. On the other hand, if we get more access maybe it will provide for some thawing. Talking to the user groups, did you notice any softening? I’ve talked to user groups on all sides and what I’ve found is everybody has been warm, professional and constructive. Not many just attack the Seashore. They usually say, “We have a concern,” and they offer a solution. And they’re well suited to offer constructive ideas because they live here or they’ve been coming for many years and they know the place really well. And we realize that — which is a pretty great segue to talk about the Centennial. August 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. To me it’s an incredible opportunity to reconnect with a younger generation of U.S. citizens and people around the world. To get them to understand that there’s more out there beyond their iPhone or video games. And knowing that there’s a younger generation that may not have connected with the park system like the baby boomers, there is an initiative to bring them into the park. An example is “Every Kid in the Park.” The goal is to give every 4th grade student in the U.S. — and their family — a chance to visit public lands for free.

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questionauthority In our case, that applies mostly to the Wright Brothers because that’s the one that has an entry fee.


Yes. But there may be initiatives to get folks to the seashore and spend a day with one of our interpretive rangers, talking history and ecology. Or to connect more with the urban centers — whether it’s Raleigh or Norfolk or Virginia Beach — and find ways to bring those students down to the seashore. The park service also has a series of Call to Action initiatives. “Follow the Flow” is about establishing water-based access and paddle trails in the seashore, so we’re looking at adding four new paddle trails with designated launch sites. Another is called “Starry Starry Night.” We want to lead the way to protect the natural darkness in this region, so we’re pursuing an International Night Sky designation. We have a lot of work to do there — to retrofit hundreds of lights to make them turtle friendly, as an example — but anyone who’s visited the seashore, I hope has had the opportunity to walk out on the beach on a dark night and see this incredible world that’s beyond Planet Earth.

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at it as a looming crisis or you can say, “Let’s look at the science and resources and start forecasting out 30 years.” Right now at Coquina Beach we lease a trailer to sell ORV permits. It’s about 50 to 100 feet from the dunes. We were supposed to spend well over $100,000 to build a permanent office. Instead, we said, “Maybe we ought go across the street to one of the buildings we have.” It might not be as convenient, but we’ll better utilize existing space without investing infrastructure in an extremely fragile or tenuous place. So we’re starting to make those decisions already.

people would say that makes total startingpoint Most sense. The other side of that issue is the

“I’ve talked roadmap to user groups gokite on all sides…Not many just milepostattack the Seashore.”

discussion of doing beach nourishment in Buxton, which people may have a different take on. Have you reached any decisions yet? We’re currently evaluating the impacts. At the end of that evaluation we’ll make a decision on whether or not to issue a special use permit to the county to allow it to happen. There are so any challenges associated with living in a location where sea level rise is a factor. What I’m hoping is that we — and I mean the entire community, the seashore, the county, the local residents, the user groups — can all sit down in the next five years and say, “We want life to exist out here. We want to continue to have a good economy. We want to protect the resources. How do we think of the ways to re-envision our existence out on this sandbar?” I’d love to see something like that happen. But it’s probably going to take a little time. We need to get through that ORV legislation first.

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A lot of this stuff is yet to be determined, but my hope is that this Centennial is not just one big birthday party in the summer of 2016; that it really is a variety of new partnerships and initiatives that bring us into the next century.

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What about long-term threats? When you look at the next 100 years, what are the big issues?


Well, the state is looking at ranges of sea level rise somewhere between a couple inches up to 10 inches over a 30-year period. Anyone who’s driven down Pea Island knows a few inches of water can make a huge difference. But you can look milepost


Between the ORV proposal — and just this conversation — there seems to be a more welcoming tone compared to the past ten years. Was that part of the reason you were hired? To cleanse the community palate from all the bitterness? All I can tell you is the posting was vacant and I was excited to get the job. I certainly had the goal of trying to build trust and partner with the community. One of our priorities is to always work as closely as we can with the public and to build relationships. It doesn’t matter to me if

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it’s a proposal for beach nourishment; if it’s a proposal to bring in inner city kids from Hampton Roads for educational experiences on the seashore; if it’s a celebration of flight at the Wright Brothers. Because we know that the public — near and far — has a lot to offer in terms of ideas and their genuine love and appreciation for the resource. So, I guess all I hope is the public sees we’re willing to talk to anybody and everybody — and to listen to them.

The preceding interview was edited for space, flow and clarity. For the full conversation — including future projects from removing Frisco Pier to Wright Brothers renovations — go to www.outerbanksmilepost.com. For more on Centennial outreach programs nationwide, go to www.nps.gov/2016. And to submit suggestions for the Outer Banks’ celebration — or to offer any other ideas — go to www.nps.gov/caha/index.htm. milepost 49

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Twenty-six years later, this ladies-only billfish tournament fooddrink remains the fishing community’s best party.

Say the name “Alice Kelly” on the Outer Banks, and you’re bound to conjure up some classic images. Stories of hot chicks wearing bikinis, hoisting fishing poles in one hand and cocktails in the other as part of the area’s infamous ladies-only billfish tournament. If you lived here in the 80s, chances are you knew the woman who inspired it — most likely as a bartender at Owens’ Seafood Restaurant in Nags Head, where she kept a “roller-decks” of customer names and their favorite drinks. And chances are you’d consider yourself lucky.

due to complications from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the local fishing community wasn’t willing to just let their leading lady go. Instead, they chose to celebrate her spirit in fitting style: inspiring hundreds of women to fish — and keep having fun — while raising money for causes that help others who are dealing with hardships similar to hers. Today, the Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies-Only Billfish Tournament is one of the largest all-female fishing competitions on the East Coast thanks to its giving tradition and perfect timing.

“Alice Kelly was the funniest woman,” remembers Carol Sykes, owner of Sam & Omie’s Restaurant. “She was a hard worker who loved to party — and she loved to fish.”

“The Alice Kelly Memorial Billfish Tournament also serves as the kick-off for the Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament,” says Tournament Director Heather Maxwell. “Last year, more than 60 boats registered to compete.”


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To this day, Alice’s picture still hangs in Sam & Omie’s and Whalebone Tackle Shop. And anyone who can find a place of honor in both a bar and a bait-shop is truly living by Outer Banks standards. But while our tiny strip of sand provides a fairytale existence when all goes well, when something goes wrong, it impacts everyone. So, when Alice passed in 1988



It’s also one of the local community’s best times and biggest parties. On August 8, fishing teams will register during the Cookout for A Cure, where chargrilled burgers will be on sale — with all proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Meanwhile, a boat/ bra decorating contest and live music will

Southwestern Flair With A Game-fishing never looked finer. (Or funner.) Photos: Julie Dreelin

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keep the public entertained. Competitors can’t get too carried away, because before sunrise the next morning, the ladies will load up their boats with baits and cocktails and take the ride to the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf Stream to fish from 8am to 3:30pm before returning to the dock for the next big challenge: the awards ceremony. Whether you are a competitor or not — whether you fish or not — you’ll still want to be at the docks when the teams tie-up to claim their prizes. It’s a raging combination of live music, food, beer and a variety of rum-laced cocktails — plus hundreds of hardcore fisher-girls. Recently, the party’s attracted cast-members from Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch. ” And a few stars of National Geographic Channel’s “Wicked Tuna” have entered — and won — the tournament. By night’s end, they’ll hand out trophies to the teams that catch the most billfish, then give individual awards to the one lady who hooks the most billfish (on her own) — as well as whoever catches the largest tuna, mahi-mahi and wahoo. Most importantly, they hand out money — donating all the proceeds from ticket sales to help people who are facing the fight of their lives. Since the tournament’s inception, nearly a million dollars have been donated.

With a cause like that, it’s no wonder the Alice Kelly Memorial LadiesOnly Billfish Tournament still thrives a quartercentury later. But the life of the party is still Alice herself, whose spirit keeps drawing back folks to celebrate her memory by fishing hard and having a good time — from happy past customers to old fishing mates. Looking back, that’s Alice Kelly’s real legacy: she made life here easier for everyone who is suddenly stricken with a serious illness. And she certainly made living here a heck of a lot more fun.

It’s a raging combo of live music, rum cocktails, and hardcore fisher–girls.

“She was just a beautiful person inside and out,” says Sykes, whose “Billfish Babes” Fishing Team has competed every single year. “I wouldn’t miss the tournament for anything.” — Ashley Bahen

Registration and cookout for the Alice Kelly Memorial Billfish Tournament will take place Aug. 8, 4:30-9pm at the Pirate’s Cove Pavilion. For details or info on any of the Pirate’s Cove Big Game Tournaments, go to www.pcbgt.com.

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“I grew up watching kids with talent being prevented from practicing on the best days,” says former professional competitor-turnedfamily man and sales rep, Ryan Rhodes. “I wanted to help the next generation, so I decided to get involved.”


How Rhodes got involved made all the difference. Instead of raising his voice at the next town meeting, he reached out to Nags Head’s Fire Chief, Kevin Zorc. The two set about coming up with equipment statutes — similar to what makes surfers exempt on red flag days — to allow lifeguards to distinguish between the summer rookie who poses a risk and the watermen pursuing a lifelong passion.


New red flag rules mean more waves for lifelong bodyboarders — and more love for the next generation. Photo: Matt Lusk

SPONGER SOLIDARITY Twenty-fourteen was a busy year for revolutionary acts. ISIS reared its ugly head in Iraq. Raul Castro commemorated the 55th anniversary of a communist Cuba. Weather-wise, Hurricane Bertha riled up East Coast waters. When two children were swept to sea off Rockaway Beach while riding foam mats, the New York Parks Department officially banned all forms of bodyboarding, raising outcry from some of the ocean’s most committed enthusiasts. Meanwhile, their brothers and sisters on the Outer Banks began battling their own longtime restrictions — and looking for different outcomes.

“Exactly one week after the Rockaway incident, we had a red flag day in Nags Head,” says 29-year-old Anthony Leone. “On my way to the water, I was stopped by Ocean Rescue and told I wasn’t going out.”

“I was told I’d be arrested.”

All Outer Bankers are familiar with the flag system that informs swimmers of potentially

hazardous ocean conditions in order to help mitigate risk for users and rescue personnel. Yellow indicates the presence of strong currents and encourages extreme caution. Red flags say “No Swimming” and require everyone to remain out of the water — except for surfers. While the definitions change between towns, Nags Head’s language required “a fiberglass board, 5ft. in length, having a minimum of one fin, and used in conjunction with a leash.” It was also the town with the strictest enforcement. “If I went out I was told I’d be arrested,” says Leone, who’s been bodyboarding half his life. “And I’m not the only one. All my homies have gotten static.” Bodyboarding’s reputation has always been mixed. In the early 70s, surf-inventor Tom Morey converted the ancient Hawaiians’ finless wooden ‘paipo’ into a massproduced foam “Boogie Board,” allowing millions of people to ride their first waves. Some may never do anything but splash in the shorebreak while on vacation. Others use it as stepping stone to standing up. Still others strap on a set of swim fins, and hold

Outer Banks bodyboarders stand up for their rights. on for a lifetime of thrills. During the 80s and 90s, bodyboarding thrived as a professional sport with competitive tours, global champions and glossy magazines. By the 2000s, such trappings had faded, but a committed community of “spongers” still shines in various pockets around the planet — often wherever waves are particularly big and dangerous — as the compact, faster vehicles thread the deepest tubes and shallowest reefs. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, “Many of the world’s most fearsome surf breaks have been pioneered by bodyboarders.” On the Outer Banks, local rippers stick together in the sketchiest conditions. While Leone was talking to the rescue service, fellow bodyboarder, Bob Hovey, was shooting photos. When people saw his Instagram post of Leone’s encounter, they began rallying folks to speak out — including one of the sport’s most vocal defenders.

“I’m always glad when the local government can work with the people,” says Zorc. “And some days we have bodyboarders and surfers helping us make a lot of saves, so we want our guards to be able to use their discretion on who enters the water.” It took six months to hammer out the language, but on January 21 the Town of Nags Head amended their Red Flag Ordinance to allow experienced bodyboarders to enter the ocean, provided the “bodyboard and fins meet specific design criteria,” such as a “foam core, encapsulated by a durable hard plastic bottom, a foam top deck and foam side rails.” Furthermore, it states: “Bodyboards constructed of Styrofoam or those with a nylon mesh cover and woven cord leash shall not meet the intent of this ordinance.” Translation: No scuba fins. Save the “Finding Nemo” stick for Myrtle Beach. But what makes the change so important isn’t who it keeps out of the ocean, but who it lets in. In fact, the very best sentence is the one that allows “skilled bodyboarders to participate in recreational water activities and enjoy the same privileges as their surfer counterparts.” After all, Outer Banks bodyboarders have always enjoyed equal respect in the water. Now they’re equally respected in the eyes of the law. — Fran Marler

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Hear the stories and learn the history of Corolla Outer Banks...

We’ve all been there: a whiny child who’s tired of the beach, sick of the heat and very, very hungry. Or the stuffed SUV that just left dinner, but still wants something sweet before heading home. In either case, there’s no better option than the laidback, comeas-you-are burger and ice cream stand. Drive up or walk over — deep-fried or soft-serve. Bring your dog, bring your halfnaked nephew — bring your loud fatherin-law — nobody cares. And everyone leaves happy.

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“We’re busy from the time we open and we don’t stop,” says John Tice, owner of John’s Drive-In in Kitty Hawk. “There are families that have come here for three or four generations.”

“We mostly cater to the locals,” says Tice. “A family of four can afford to eat out here. That’s why we have customer loyalty.” John’s was actually established in the1950s by John and Pat Jennings. The Tices expanded the menu and the months of operation, with fans mobbing the no-frills eatery from March to October. ( John’s turned down Food Network’s multiple invitations to be featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”) The fresh mahi boats, tuna salad and milk shakes remain most popular. And while Tice’s sisters Ramona and Tina used to work at the restaurant in the beginning, John is the only family member still poking his head out to take your order — and hustling all day to keep folks happy.

“You gotta love it,” he insists. “My dad used graphiccontent to say, ‘If you do your job 110 percent

Local cuisine’s gotten way trendier since Tice’s father took over the famous browntrimmed, white building in 1977. But the walk-up food stand remains an Outer Banks institution. Offerings aren’t necessarily fancy, but the fish remains fresh, the prices stay reasonable and the atmosphere is always relaxed. No wonder throngs of tourists line up at the windows — with year-rounders standing right beside them.


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every day, the place will take care of itself.’” Provided you don’t change too much. These culinary icons sell nostalgia as much as good eats, and customers expect to find their favorites every time they come back. When Nags Head’s Snow Bird shuttered up, many residents thought we’d lost another

Better hurry — that line’s only gonna get longer. Photo: Ray Matthews

“We wanted to buy it foremost because it’s a piece of history,” says Sam & Omies’ manager and Dune Burger co-owner Karen Sealock. “We didn’t want to see it torn down and turned into a parking lot.” Instead, they pack the house. On busy summer days, more than 300 people will flock to one of three windows at the small red brick and white trim building at Whalebone Junction.

Time for a



And at the height of July, hundreds more might be standing in line just a few blocks north at Fat Boyz’ — all thanks to one familyfriendly neighbor.

Line up for summer’s sweetest, saltiest family tradition. institution. But this summer they’re open again, offering burgers and ice cream floats, and — of course — the bologna sandwiches on Texas toast that made them famous. “It’s a traditional Outer Banks place,” says new proprietor Gus Zinovis, who’s owned Mulligan’s for 20 years. “I wanted to keep it just the way it was.”

It’s the same tasty fare as 50 years ago: hot dogs, burgers, fried fish and ice cream.

That’s the exact approach Sam & Omie’s took when they bought the vacant Dune Burger in 2012. Sure, they touched up the paint and added some new picnic tables. But the food is the same tasty fare as 50 years ago: hot dogs, BBQ, fried fish and chicken sandwiches, and, of course, ice cream. (The namesake Dune Burger, with all the fixings, and the peach milk shake are the most requested.)

“Jennette’s Pier has been awesome for this area,” says Fat Boyz’ owner Stacie Ryan, noting that the popular attraction has boosted the restaurant’s sales by 25 percent. “It kind of stabilized the junction. No matter what, people come.” Stacie has been running the eatery since 2000, when her parents, Starr and Stan Belvin, bought it from the Cahoon family, who built it in 1994. She says she can’t get over how business can go from an easybreezy 25 people to a rowdy 1000 by day’s end. People ask most for their ice cream Flurries, hand-patted burgers and the crabcakes (made according to Ryan’s mother’s original recipe). And while Ryan says it is always challenging operating an outdoor restaurant in an area with such wicked weather, she also believes it’s that wide-open novelty that makes these businesses naturally successful. “I guess because they’re outside,” Ryan says, “they’re just fun places to bring the kids.” Who’ll one day bring their kids… who then will bring their kids. Maybe that’s the appeal of the walk-up and drive-ins: they’ve been here for so long — for so many families — they’re an extension of the whole Outer Banks beach experience. Or maybe it’s just because there’s no more summery feeling than strolling off the beach, soaking wet, and getting served comfort food in your swimsuit. — Catherine Kozak

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Contrasting colors. Functional themes. “Grit #3” is a self-portrait of the artist’s favorite tools.

“There are a lot of talented, creative, and eccentric individuals here that are just doing their own thing,” he says.

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Fowler can shape foam and fiberglass into surfboards — or carve wood into furniture — but his degree is Metal Design. He graduated from East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, where he learned to create jewelry and smaller scale sculptures. After graduating, he found a job as a bench jeweler.

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For Travis Fowler, all art is work — and all work is art.

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It’s a humble business card for an understated man, whose natural talent is polished and — at the same time — raw. Whose work can be both accessible and polarizing, featuring subject matter that is beautiful yet bizarre. A graceful nude with a smiling skull in place of a pretty face, for example.


30-year-old Kill Devil Hills resident. “I think it’s a result of living and making art on the Outer Banks. This place is a world of extremes. Extreme population swings, extreme weather changes, extreme ocean conditions from day to day. My work may not incorporate sunsets and lighthouses, but it is still a reflection of local life.” We’ve all fluctuated between feelings of overstimulation and isolation. We grapple with the shift between busy days and dreamy summer nights to shades of seasonal depression during the sleepy winter.

graphiccontent “I like to use imagery that may be borderline morbid or dark or vulgar in juxtaposition with a light, airy and perhaps comical color palette,” says the


This independent spirit, born largely out of a lack of opportunity for young adults who left school and stepped into a recession, is becoming a hallmark of Fowler’s generation. The result is a new wave of entrepreneurs: young artists, photographers, DJs, yoga instructors, restaurateurs — all flourishing in our little community. Left with little choice but to just do their own thing, they find that they are actually very good at several.


A white paper rectangle wearing black lowercase letters. It reads: “travis j fowler: artist, craftsman, human (in no particular order).”

forks in the road, then somehow takes both directions, picking his way down a creative path that is shaping the youth movement that has been emerging in the Outer Banks art scene.

Fowler’s artwork approaches this contradiction head-on. He sees thematic

Repairing delicate pieces of broken silver and resizing rings allowed him to exercise his skills (and degree) but left him longing for a more creative outlet. He began gravitating back to drawing and painting. And sometimes both. “I love to incorporate graphite line work into my paintings when the paint is still wet,” he explains. “It’s a fun and simple process with elegant and profound results. It gives the painting an honest and impulsive expression.” No matter the medium, Fowler refers to any creative venture as “functional art.” In his quaint KDH cottage — where he lives with his girlfriend and several four-legged friends — Fowler enjoys the times when he can tune out and “just push paint.” It’s a cathartic process that frees the mind. Some pieces are so loose they look like doodles, leaving scribbly patterns over

smeared brushstrokes. Others are highly realistic. Human forms with detailed faces, gripping expressions — and hands. Lots and lots of hands. Both complexly detailed and sloppily scrawled. In some cases covering the whole canvas. “It’s a result of having this passion for working through the use of my hands,” he says. “I think it all comes back to having a love for the physical creative process.”

Fowler traces this love back to his parents’ chosen professions. His dad is an auto mechanic. His mother was a dental hygienist. Both used their hands with precision and determination.

Some pieces are so loose they look like doodles… others are detailed forms with gripping expressions.

“I have to thank [my parents] for their unconditional support in every creative endeavor I pursued,” Fowler says. “And I’ve learned a lot about patience and integrity from them. For me, art was always just a strong interest combined with the discipline of finishing what I started, you know? More passion and effort involved than actual talent.”

Maybe. But discipline and passion are what turns creative ideas into tangible pieces. And transforms a human into a craftsman — and an artist. — Hannah Bunn

This June, Fowler debuts his first solo show — “Redirect (feels like right)” — at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Manteo, with an opening reception on June 5, 6-8pm. milepost 57

soundcheck getactive Finally –– a band with some teeth. Photo: Daniel Pullen

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The first assault on your senses is the beat.

A relentless pummeling of kickdrum and snare followed by a barrage of rumbling bass line. Next, a screeching sortie of power chords. Finally, a British sneer of explosive lyrics, unleashing a blistering critique of modern problems, from the military-industrial complex — “The CIA making covert war…selling arms… killing the poor” — to banal Hollywood blockbusters. (“Another stupid plot…The writer should be shot.”)

It’s so bloody perfect — so bloody punk — you might wanna cry “fake.” But the Hot Signals are no hoax. At least no more than the Sex Pistols or Dead Kennedys — or any of the other distorted acts that first stuck a milepost


ANARCHY FOR THE OBX? Nevermind the Buffett — here’s the Hot Signals.

straight-up middle finger at the 70’s and 80s’ social ills, such as class warfare and political hypocrisy. In other words: a lot like right now. “I do feel like things have come full circle,” says frontman Lee Sherratt, a Sheffield, England native who moved to Kitty Hawk via New York five years ago. “The wars. The cover-ups. The GMOs. So, punk’s the perfect vehicle for what we’re trying to say.” But why here? Why now? We sat down with Sherratt — along with bassist Mickey Calhoun and drummer Jonathon “JD” Davis — to see how a power trio of selfprofessed working stiffs is keeping anarchy alive on the Outer Banks.

MILEPOST: So how do three fathers in their mid-forties start a punk rock outfit? Mickey Calhoun: We met in rehab. [laughs] No, seriously: I’m an occupational therapist. Lee came to the clinic for help with his hands and we realized we liked the same types of bands. It’d been 10 years since I played, but I was like, “Okay. Time to knock the dust off.” LEE SHERRATT: It’s true. I had carpal tunnel syndrome from being a graphic designer the past 20 years. I grew up playing guitar but only started writing music again about two years ago. And it was all in response to 9-11. I was working in New York the day it happened. I was stuck in an office with smoke billowing up against the window, people running by. And all the years that followed with all the bullshit we had to listen to in the news — the

obvious lies, the covering-up of facts and the invading foreign countries — it was killing me, rattling around in my head. I had to put them down. So far I’ve submitted 45 songs to the Library of Congress. Then when Mickey and I started playing, I was like, “I think I know a drummer.” JD: Yeah, Lee was actually my son’s soccer coach [laughs]. He knew I played and loved original music. [Ed. Note: Davis’ funk band, Babyfat, was a popular college band in the mid-90s.] And he had such a nice catalog of songs that we all connected with — I think because they have the same energy we enjoyed as kids. So what punk bands did you grow up listening to? LEE: Well, I was more into the Buzzcocks and the Clash. I was also a big Bowie and Lou Reed fan. But there’s not much that’s outside of my listening pleasure. My mom had a massive record collection, so I had a lot of guilty pleasures. I won’t lie: I listened to the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and Barry Manilow. And I think that’s been kind to me when it comes to writing songs. Because I’ve got so many melodies subconsciously inserted into my brain, I can avoid going in an obvious direction. MICKEY: But when you’re a kid, you have to listen to your parents’ music first before you can find your own. The gateway drug for me was KISS. The first time I heard KISS, I was like, “Give me more.” From there I sunk my talons into Dead Kennedys and Black Flag and JFA, which was more hardcore. But I’m always saying, “It needs to be faster.” I never thought I’d be playing Talking Heads covers, to be honest. But the Talking Heads were still pretty edgy in the late 70s and early 80s. So were the Clash and Police, and the other covers you guys do. Is that intentional? Or is it a reflection of punk’s influence? JD: I soaked up all that stuff as a kid. But I haven’t played straight-up punk in a long damn time. So playing with these guys has been an amazing challenge — partly because of the pace of the sets. But I love it. Because being a three-piece there’s space to communicate. That version of “Psycho Killer” is a super early one that we worked into our own feel. Same with the Police songs we do.

I mean, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” isn’t a song from that era — but we bring it up to that energy level.

“there are people on stage who could affect change. And they don’t.”

MICKEY: To me, the thing about that era is that it was just raw energy, raw vocals, raw lyrics. But it was poignant in the fact that they sung about specific things going on that no one could control. Which is what’s going on right now — but people don’t sing about those things right now.

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At least not to the same degree. LEE: And it’s a big pet peeve of mine. Because there are people who are onstage with a giant spotlight who could say something and affect change. And they don’t. They just sing their mambypamby songs about love and they’re not addressing the needs of the world. And these politicians who are denying facts or covering things up, we have to hold them accountable. Because when people can fly planes into buildings in broad daylight, we’re on a runaway train like never before.

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MICKEY: And he’s the positive one. But that is pretty heavy stuff for a beach town. What’s been the response? And what’s next? JD: It’s been incredibly positive. I mean, we always have the covers to balance things out. But Lee’s songs are really good. Some places — especially in Virginia — want us to do 95 percent original music. The next step is to record an album, because we have the material. But we want to take ownership and do it ourselves. Lee: It’d be really nice to record something and sit on it for a couple days and come back. But it’s the same old story, really: you have no money, so it’s all a bloody rush with no time to make creative decisions. I know that sounds spoiled and it’s not very punk [laughs], but — to me — a song has to have a message. But it also has to be fun, too. And right now, that’s where the spirit’s taking us. — Leo Gibson

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TIME CAPSULE They thought they were buying this old house. What they got was an antique road show. The location is perfect. A high hill in Kitty Hawk Village surrounded by six acres. The house? Super-quaint. Two stories of white, clapboard coziness, dating back to 1911. But after sitting empty for a decade, this fixer-upper needed more than just love and care — it needed a chainsaw. “We had to cut away trees to get in the back door,” says Kitty Hawk native Matt Soriente. “You couldn’t see the house from the street.” But Soriente knew the potential that lay underneath. So, when Hurricane Sandy forced him to bail his Beach Road rental, he and longtime girlfriend, Kelly Rodriquez, wrote the owner to see if he’d sell. No reply. Then, two Marches ago, the phone rang — just hours before they were leaving on a multi-month, crosscountry expedition. “He said, ‘I’m coming down in two weeks if you want the house,’” Matt recalls. “So we made a change of plans.” And a major commitment. Because once the couple began moving in, they realized they’d bought more than a house — they’d inherited a museum. Closets held decades of fashion trends and famous headlines. File cabinets hid official town records. (The previous owner was actually Kitty Hawk’s first mayor, George Hoffman.) Even the garage came fully loaded with tools and a commercial log splitter. (They’d need it; the house has no central heat.) milepost


The more they dug, the more they found. Instead of throwing it out, they put it to work. The den reveals a living fossil record of turtle skulls, two radios and a slide projector dating back to the 50s. The latter would prove most functional. “In the last closet we found this bag full of slides from the late 50s, early 60s,” Kelly recalls. “It was like the final surprise.” They spent that first spring hunkered in front of the fireplace, burning through firewood — and illuminating images of a beach community in transformation. “It’s amazing how many more shipwrecks were exposed back then,” says Kelly. “They were all over the beach.” The best Outer Banks moments they digitized. (Look for prints to adorn the wall of the couple’s Corolla coffee shop and beer garden, The Shack.) But the personal slides they’re stashing in storage — along with the uniforms and special items — for the family to fetch when they see fit. In the meantime, the couple will keep updating their dream home’s less dreamy attributes. Maintaining the vintage appeal while adding some modern comforts and a few new memories. “I guess we’re gluttons for punishment,” laughs Matt. “Because finishing this place will probably take us the rest of our lives.” And that’s what they’re counting on.

“George brought these newspapers down when he moved from New York. We realized he was writing a book on World War II because we found a file cabinet of stuff he was saving for research — old photos, shipping records, even letters he’d written to sailors.”

“The Hoffmans kept such meticulous notes, it’s almost like we know them,” says Kelly. “Matt thinks I’m crazy, but I swear I’ve heard Evelyn’s voice before. So we call it ‘Evelyn’s House.’ This photo is actually one of a series of coasters I made — all pictures of her having fun on the beach in her funky outfits.”

“Everything here was in the room when we moved in — the dressers, the lamps, the chest of drawers, the TV, the bed — even the orange chenille throw from 1970. It was also the only room with the original paneling. So we pulled up the carpet and found the heart pine floors. Then we left everything as we found it.”

“This buffet hutch was just like you see it — almost. The Rachael Ray cookbook is mine, but the spice jars, the decanter and the martini shaker were all here. And you could see from the photos that they liked to have a good time.” “This RCA radio cost $29 in 1950 — we know because it still has the price tag. The other one is a Wards Airline Radio from 1947. Both still work, but they pick up weird stuff, so they’re more fun to look at than listen to.” milepost 61





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Words by Jemas Illustration by Stuart Parks II

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endnotes Sounds like someone’s got a Celebrate ten years of tweaked case of the Mondays… More moves and top kiteboarders at Real like a case of the Memorial Watersports’ Triple-S event, May 30-June 5. Photo: Nate Appel Days. Kick off your summer — and your shoes— when the 2nd Annual Shallowbag Bay Shag Music Festival fills Roanoke Island Festival Park with barefoot revelers on May 25. Tix: $30. Lineup, times and parking deets at www.obxshag. com. • Or lace ’em up and dash to Avon for May 25’s 4th Annual Shorebreak 5K and Tide Pool Fun Run. A beautiful course begins and ends at Koru Village with proceeds helping the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund. Registration and details at www.hatterasyouth.com. • The generosity shines on at Island Art Show, where 20 Outer Banks artists share their wares at the Rodanthe-WavesSalvo Community Center on May 25. Each installment in the summer series helps a local cause from the OBX SPCA to the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association. There’s live music, food and raffles — but no entry fee. Stay posted on Facebook and come back for more shows on July 3 and Sept. 4-5. • Man, that decade really flew. We’re talking about Real Watersport’s 10th Annual Venyu Triple-S Invitational, where 35 of the planet’s best male and female kiteboarders compete in surf, slicks and slider disciplines, May 30-June 5. Come nightfall, seven parties with seven bands boost energy levels to new highs. And the coming weeks stay wet with the Collegiate Kiteboarding Association Nationals ( June 6-13), Tona Wakestyle Camp ( June 9-11) and a visit from Surfing Mag’s 2011 Shaper of the Year, Robert Weiner on July 18-19. More at www. realwatersports.com. • For a more traditional wind race, catch the Atlantic Coast Catamaran Championship in Manteo, May 28-31, where more than 50 twin-hulled heroes do laps around Roanoke Sound. And the canvas keeps doing miracles all summer long, as SailNC hosts the 2015 Laser North American Championship, July 29-Aug. 2, followed by the 2015 Club 420 North American Championship, Aug. 11-16. More at www.SailNC.org. • Before there was the Skipper and Mary Ann, there was John White and Virginia Dare. Salute Roanoke Island’s castaway roots every Mon.-Sat., May 29-Aug. 22, as The Lost Colony celebrates 78 seasons of outdoor drama — and 428 years of local history. This summer, shows start at 7:30pm, but expect the same timeless experience, including May 28’s final dress rehearsal for just $20 and three different Dare Nights, where a local ID — and two canned goods — get you in free to help local food banks. Full pricing and Character Dinner details at www. thelostcolony.org. • Feeling lost? Get found when Let Hope Arise Presented by His Generation fills Roanoke Island Festival Park with the faithful on May 29. Concert features Jesus Culture music artists Kristene DiMarco and Derek Johnson — plus an opening by Charlie Perkins Music and guest speaker, Wes Brinson. For tix and info visit www.hisgen.org. • Then stomp over to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island for the second coming of Dinosaurs! Enjoy a glorious walking path full of eight life-sized, animated thunder lizards through Sept. 7, then step indoors for some A/C and a bunch of cool sea creatures. More at www.ncaquariums.com. • Did someone say, “coeds”? Get your brain out of the gutter — and put your feet in the sand — when the EVP Volleyball Tour’s Outer Banks Pro Am brings every division from Juniors to Pros to spike, set and dig at Jennette’s Pier on May 30. More at www.evptour.com. • On Sat., May 30, rock out with your chalk out, when the 3rd Annual Rock the Cape returns to Avon’s Koru Village to benefit the Dare

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13 GREAT moviEs including :

Frozen • The Wizard Of Oz Surf ’s Up • Pirates Of The Caribbean The Princess Bride & More!

For complete movie schedule including dates and locations please visit www.childrenatplayobx.com A donation of $10 per car is appreciated to help the Outer Banks Children @ Play Museum, a nonprofit organization. Thank you to all of the sponsors that make these special nights possible.



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P L AY EXPLORE SHOP RELAX S TAY This summer, reconnect with nature by strolling along the Boardwalk, walk our business district with stores, galleries, and eateries, enjoy live programming at the Town Park with free concerts, yoga, interactive theater and more.

townofduck.com Town of Duck


Events & Information: 252.255.1286


10.11.15 For a shopping guide and information on special events held by Duck Village Merchants, visit doducknc.com.



County Arts Council. From 11am-4pm, take in stand after stand of artistic expression, live demos and hands-on activities. That night, cheer on back-to-back musical performances by The Hound Dogs Family Band and Big Daddy Love. Advance $12 tix available on site or at Cloud Nine in Nags Head — or find ’em online via www.darearts. org. Or pay $18 at the door. • Come Sun., get drunk and brew — or at least learn about brewing — when May 31’s First Annual OBX Brewfest crashes Nags Head’s Event Site with 80+ craft beers, tastings, workshops, guest speakers — plus live music, and an adult game zone featuring keg bowling, life-sized Jenga and Human Foosball. $40 tix; includes pint glass and endless samples. • Can’t wait to party? Show up a day early for Sat.’s Brewathalon Adventure Race with Kitty Hawk Kayaks and Surf School where teams and individuals battle in a 7-leg series of sports and leisure activities: surfing, SUPing, horseshoes, kayaking, running, cornhole, BBQ and brews — followed by finish-line festivities at Pamlico Jack’s with tunes by Zack Mexico. ($25/person; $80/4-person relay team.) Then head to Trio that night for the Official OBX Brewfest Kickoff Party and awards ceremony at 7pm. All events are 21+. Tix and course details at www.obxbeerfests.com. • Can’t ditch the kids? Hit the big dune for the Jockey’s Ridge State Park 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Visitors Center on May 31. Find the Friends of Jockey’s Ridge Facebook page for all the gritty details. • With roughly three dozen games between June 1 and Aug. 7, Dare Devils Baseball is the hottest ticket this side of the dugout. Buy yours on game nights at KDH’s First Flight Baseball Complex. (Adults: 5$; Seniors/Students: $4; 10 and under: Free.) Or find $50 season passes, a full sched. — and details on the 2015 Baseball Camp — at www.outerbanksdaredevils.com. • Stretch your legs with four Full Moon Climbs this summer at the Bodie Island Lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: June 2, July 1, July 31 (8pm & 9pm) and Aug. 29 (8:30pm & 9:30pm). Tix are available on-site two days in advance: $8 for adults; $4 for senior citizens (62+) and children (11 or less — and at least 42” tall). Better step to it — these climbs sellout fast. More at www.nps.gov. • And Currituck Beach Lighthouse extends its summer hours each Wed. and Thurs. ’til 8pm. Get a breathtaking view of Corolla — and help Outer Banks Conservationists keep the tower in tip-top shape — for $10. More at www. currituckbeachlight.com. • What’s got 600 million legs and sweats? National Running Day. On June 3, join fitness junkies all over America by being at the Market Place at Southern Shores for a 5k road course at 6am. (Packet pick-up June 2, 4-7pm at TRI Outer Banks Sports in KDH.) And Runcations has 20 more races to feed your jogging jones, including June 17’s 4th Annual Sunrise 5k & Little Kids Crab Crawl and June 24’s 4th Annual Sunset 5k & Carolina Pig Pickin’ at Jennette’s Pier — plus regular 5ks at Corolla Light and the Village at Nags Head. Full summer sched. and registration at www.runcations.com. • Exercise your family’s smile muscles when Faire Days Outdoor Festival Series returns to Duck’s Scarborough Faire every Wed., June 3–Aug. 26. From 1-6pm enjoy music, magicians, mustang rides, and more. For details, visit www.ScarboroughFaireInDuckNC.com. • Trot over to Duck Town Hall for rotating art shows, Mon.-Fri, 9am-5pm. (Photography by Cyndi Goetcheus, Dan Waters, and Dan Beauvais fills the walls through July 31.) And a full schedule of family events returns to Duck Town Green for 2015, including Yoga & Dynamic Flow, June 16-Sept. 9, with Duck Village Yoga (Tues.) and Outer Banks Health (Wed.) at 7:30am. Plus, there’s children’s theater and story time, family magic shows and two months of Children @ Play’s free Movies on the Sound, including Frozen ( June 5); Mrs. Doubtfire ( June 12); Despicable Me 2 ( June 17); Surf’s Up ( July 17); Maleficent ( July 24); and Dolphin Tale 2 ( July 31). All movies will begin at dusk. Donations benefit the Outer Banks’ children’s museum. More at www.townofduck.com. • And Movies on the Sound keeps rolling at Manteo’s COA Ball Field with: The Lego Movie ( June 26); Finding Nemo ( July 3); Wizard of Oz ( July 10); Big Hero 6 (Aug. 7); Pirates of the Caribbean (Aug. 14); The Princess Bride (Aug. 21); and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (Aug. 28). Food available, picnics allowed — alcohol prohibited — and donations encouraged. Full sched and info at www.childrenatplayobx.com. • But wait! There’s more! Because

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endnotes to bring back photographic evidence of their potential prize-winners — all to support Hatteras’ Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is hosting Maritime Movie Nights, a series Project Purple. Mandatory captain’s meeting June 5, 6pm, at Roanoke Island Outfitters of cool, educational flicks on topics like homemade submarines (Underwater Dream to discuss rules. More at www.roanokeislandoutfittersanddivecenter.com. • Peer down on Machine, June 1), deep-sea pre-historic technology (Ancient Computer, July 6), and the fishies — and get back to your roots — when Jennette’s Pier gathers relatives, from torpedo tales from our own NC coast (Hitler’s Secret Attack on America, Aug. 3). All groms to grannies, for the 5th Annual Family Fishing Tournament, June 6, 7am. (More at shows are free and start at 6:30pm. For more, visit www.ncmaritimemuseums.com. • Move www.jennettespier.net.) • Or get a taste of commercial fishing from picture to picture when the Windmill Point Art Fair and conservation with Boat The Bay. Every Thurs., June-Aug., brings 40 artists and crafters to the Outer Banks Event Site the N.C. Coastal Federation ventures out into Shallowbag every first Thurs. — June 4, July 2 and Aug. 6, 10am-6pm. More Bay to pull baited crab pots and take a biological survey of at www.windmillpointartfair.com. • Or quaff a pint with your fish, shrimp and other critters that call the estuary home. Six paintings as the Brew & Arts Shows return to the Outer people max. Adults: $25; kids, 5+: $15 (with a grown-up). Paid Banks Brewing Station, every Mon., June 8-Aug. 31, from registration required. More at www.nccoast.org. • Are you 4-8pm — for a total of 13 artists and countless creativity. Find super green? Why not share some? Every summer the ’em on Facebook. • Colors fly freely when the 33rd Annual Network for Endangered Sea Turtles drives thousands of Rogallo Kite Festival salutes Francis Rogallo, June 5-7. This miles looking for nests. Help them upgrade their rustier ATVs NASA scientist’s Flexible Wing birthed the sport of hang with a tax-deductible donation at www.nestonline.org. • gliding and breathed new life into kite design. Kitty Hawk Nature-lovers of all ages enjoy Elizabethan Gardens floral Kites thanks the inventor each year at Jockey’s Ridge with displays, such as Daffodilly Fest: Big Bugs and Blooms lessons, stunt shows, kite-making, and more. 10am-4pm. Details (through June 13). Plus, there are weekly events like Minty at www.kittyhawk.com. • Local pride runs deep when June 6’s Tuesday (2-3pm, June 9-Aug. 18), where kids 6-12 enjoy a annual Dare Day Festival turns Manteo’s Downtown NC Coastal Federation’s “Boat the Bay” program promotes sweet learning adventure topped off with dessert. Or pull up Waterfront into a feel-good outdoor extravaganza of food, estuary education, every Thurs. through Aug. Photo: NCCF a stump for Storybook Wednesdays (10am-11pm; June 17crafts and entertainment. Munchkins bounce from blow-up Aug. 19) to hear tales about butterflies, bees and other garden friends. Both are free with slides to kiddie trains. Adults enjoy booths selling everything from furniture to photos to admission. For details, call 252-473-3234 or visit www.elizabethangardens.org. • Animal fine jewelry. The fun begins 9am with a Blessing of the Season and carries on until 6pm. thrills await each day at Roanoke Island’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, More at www.townofmanteo.com. • Or snap a selfie with sea life when the 3rd Annual including canoe trips and tram tours — popular Bear Necessities and Red Wolf Howlings Finatic Kayak Fishing Tournament runs June 6. This catch-and-release contest ask anglers

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programs — and a free Preschool Young Naturalist Program,10-11am, every Fri. Plus, Pea Island hosts three days of canoe tours — and a free Bird Walk, every Wed. 8-9:30am. Call 252-475-4180 for information and a complete schedule. • The Friends of Elizabeth II help keep kids smiling and seated inside Roanoke Island Festival Park’s Indoor Theatre all summer long: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte presents Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel ( June 17-19); the Gray Seal Puppets do Salsa Cinderella ( July 1-3); Bright Star Touring Theatre presents Happily Ever After Children’s Show ( July 8-10) and The Ugly Ducking ( July 29-31); Huck Finn’s hijinks come courtesy of UNC Pembroke ( July 15-17); and Rainbow Puppet Productions produces A Pirate Party Children’s Show (Aug. 5-7). All shows start at 10:30am and cost $5. (Kids under 5 free). More at www.roanokeisland.com. • Step next door for more dramatic moments from days gone by, as the Outer Banks History Center’s 2015 gallery exhibit — “A Heritage of Heroes: the Coast Guard in North Carolina” — serves up our state’s long history of lifesaving courage, every day 9am-5pm. More at www.obhistorycenter.ncdcr. gov. • And brave readers can sign up for book signings, courtesy of Duck’s Cottage Books and Manteo’s Duck’s Cottage Downtown Books. Richard Lamotte will autograph The Lure of Sea Glass in Manteo on June 11, and Duck on June 12. Kathryn O’Sullivan — author of the Colleen McCabe series set in Corolla — signs Neighing with Fire in Duck on June 29, and Manteo on June 30. Stephen Kirck will be in both locations on July 3 to inscribe Voices from the Outer Banks. And on July 7, Downtown Books presents An Evening with Matthew Quick, author of the Silver Linings Playbook and the newly released novel Love May Fail at 7pm at Manteo’s Dare County Arts Council. Learn more at www.duckscottage.com. • The DCAC keeps the creative juices flowing — along with a few sips of wine — every First Friday, 6-8pm, with opening receptions for monthly artists: June 5 features Travis Fowler’s busy hands; July 3

collects wires, birds nests and other mixed media by cl bigelow; and Aug. 7 offers jewelry and metals by Kathryn Osgood, plus watercolors by Beverly “Not the Former Governor” Perdue. For more info — and details on summer programs like Tuesdays in Manteo’s art classes for all ages, and Kid’s Art’s Parties every third Fri. — go to www. darearts.org. • Of course, First Friday is also Downtown Manteo’s monthly party of late shopping, live bands and community spirit. And every Sat. you’ll score fresh produce, local art, crafts, flowers and more at the Town of Manteo Farmer’s Market, 8am-noon. More at www.townofmanteo.com. • Enough with the quiet charm, let’s crank up the volume with some music listings from north to south. Starting in Corolla, the Road to Mustang Concert Series rocks out Mike Dianna’s Grill Room with Mingo Fishtrap ( June 11); Soul House Revival ( June 24, July 5, Aug. 5); Jamie Kent ( July 1); Major and the Monbacks ( July 9); and Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot ( July 19). More at www.grillroomobx.com. • Starting late June, enjoy a free Concert on the Green in Duck every Thurs., 6:30-8pm, including: Delicate Cutters ( June 27); Donovan Carless & The Posse ( July 2); Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey ( July 9); Ruth Wyand ( July 16); The Northerners ( July 23); Barefoot Wade ( July 30); If Birds Could Fly (Aug. 6); Flatland Bluegrass Band (Aug. 13); Dusty 45s (Aug. 20); The Carvers, Surf & Stomp Combo (Aug. 27). Coolers, picnics and dogs are welcome. (Yelling “Freebird” is not.) More at www.townofduck.com. • Swing west into Jarvisburg you’ll get Acoustic Sunsets with Sanctuary Vineyards every Thurs. through Sept, 5:30-9pm, on the Cotton Gin lawn. Free and family friendly, you can bring your own picnic or pick something up at the new Thyme and Tide Café. More at www. sanctuaryvineyards.com. • Meanwhile, in Kitty Hawk, the Rundown Café’s Hula Deck swings and sways from now to Labor Day, with Natalie Wolfe & Graham Outten on Wed., BC on Thurs., The Break (Dan McIsaac & Steve Hauser) on Fri., and Johnny Waters Band

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endnotes sweeter Teen Night every Mon., Wed. and on Sat. Shows start at 6pm. More at www. Enjoy a ménage à twang of Big Daddy Love thanks to a threesome of summer dates: Fri. — full of frozen convections and zero rundowncafe.com. • And Trio puts out a May 29, May 30 and July 23. Photo: Dancing Lemur alcohol. (Except maybe a scoop of rum raisin.) palatable weekly spread of varied flavors: On More at www.teennightobx.com. • That Tues. Jug Tucker serves bluegrass/ means Mug Nights and Euro Nights have Americana; Thurs. is extra spicy and found new homes at Nags Head’s New York experimental with Three Amigos; on Fri. Pizza Pub, along with live shows like Holy BirdDog doles out two cool scoops of Dan Ghost Tent Revival ( June 12), Major and and Laura Martier; and Sat., Broughton the Monbacks ( July 10) and Big Daddy and Friends fires up indie elements from Love ( July 23). Full summer lineup at www. Ween to Weezer. More at www.obxtrio.com. nypizzapub.com. • Across the bypass at • Toward 11pm, KDH’s Bad Bean Baja Grill Kelly’s there’s a bunch of big names, from gets even badder with local favorites like the Delta Rae ( June 30) to the Wailers ( July 15) Four Amigos ( June 13, July 25); Hound to Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real Dogs ( June 25); The Hot Signals ( July 11, ( July 30) — bookended by reggae Aug. 22); and Deadly Lo-Fi and the Lonely revelations with the The Movement ( June 3) Teardrops (Aug. 1). More at www. and Collie Buddz (Aug. 13). Exact times and badbeanobx.com. • The Outer Banks prices at www.kellysrestaurant.com. • And Brewing Station’s royal lineup includes the Lost Colony’s Waterside Theatre is having Kings of Belmont (May 30) and Seth Summer of Rock flashbacks: 1964 – The Stainback & Roosterfoot ( June 30), before Tribute does old school Beatles justice on Jackass Flats puts some twang in your dang June 21; Jefferson Starship lifts off on July 12; and Resurrection breathes new life into on July 27. Get the full calendar at www.obbrewing.com. • Port O’Call has back-to-back bluegrass blends with Big Daddy Love (May 29) and Mark Schmick String (May 30), while Journey on Aug. 2. Prices, packages and limited VIP tix at www.thelostcolony.org. • The tributes continue at Avon’s Koru Beach Klub as Badfish does Sublime ( June 25); The Big Something swells the room on July 16. More at www.obxportocall.com. • Now the bad news: we’re sad to report that after 20 years, The Pit Boardrider’s Club has changed gears. Stranger plays Billy Joel ( July 2); On The Border squawks The Eagles ( July 16); and Satisfaction salutes the Rolling Stones (Aug. 13). Plus, get your fill of one-and-only live acts But don’t think of it as losing a bar, think of it as gaining a Booty Treats — and an even

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Annual “Open Water” Swim Extravaganza and 5k Run on June 28 at the Old Swimming like Southern Culture on the Skids ( June 11), the Original Wailers ( July 30) and the Hole. Swim distances range from .5 to 4k — plus a 5k run. Register by June 19 to receive Hackensaw Boys (Aug. 6). Get the full calender of Thurs. night shows — and Fri. music at your t-shirt at www.obxswimclub.com. • And wine reigns supreme at Corolla’s Whalehead Pangea Tavern — at www.koruvillage.com. • Keep it Real in Rodanthe as the Sky Blue Wednesdays, where you enjoy live music and sunsets with two local wineries: Sanctuary Summer Concert Series brings a stacked lineup of legit local players like Mojo Collins, Vineyards and Vineyard on the Scuppernong. $10 buys you 3 pours; $25 buys a glass Christian Benedi, Soul One and Raygun Ruby. Plus, Aug. 10-14 sees the return of and a Betty Ford-sized supply of samples. Free for non-drinking adults and children. And Slickstock 2015. Full event sched. at www.realwatersports.com. • Or just make your own music with the Outer Banks Drum Circle. This monthly mash-up of manmade metronomics June 23-24, the 14th Annual Under the Oaks Art Festival gathers 100 quality artists plus local food concessions, an art auction and children’s activities. $5 parking meets June 27, July 25, Aug. 22 at Bonnett St. in Nags Head at 5:30pm. • d e n y M o donation goes toward preserving the historic site. More at www. Storm The Beach invites teams to pound the sand and conquer obstacles B e m z o t ria Frih Fishing Tournam l ent ut visitwhalehead.org. • While we’re in Corolla, be forewarned: this year’s on June 14 as part of the only oceanfront adventure course — all to benefit o Y 23rd Annual Festival of Fireworks at Currituck Heritage Park pops a the Outer Banks Relief Foundation. Registration and details at www. day early on Fri., July 3 to beat change-over day. But the party’s still right on stormthebeach.org. • On June 17, pile the kids up at Avalon Pier, Nags time with live music and a spectacular show, plus food vendors and Head Pier, Jennette’s Pier and the Outer Banks Fishing Pier for 44th children’s games. It’s also still free. Starts at 5pm; fireworks fly at dusk. • Dip Annual Fritz Boyden Youth Fishing Tournament. This free event down to Duck July 3, you can catch the 11th Annual Duck 4th of July encourages fun with t-shirts and two age divisions — 4 to 9 and 10 to 16. Parade. The traditional one-mile route starts at the crest of the hill on Scarborough at 9am Registration starts at 7am; fishing runs 8am-noon. All thanks to the Nags Head Surfing and finishes at Duck Town Park with live music from Just Playn’ Dixieland, cold Fishing Club, N.C. Beach Buggy Association and N.C. Sea Hags. Find ’em on Facebook. refreshments and parade trophies. Info and registration at www.townofduck.com. • March • Or push ’em into the sound, as Kitty Hawk Kites in Manteo hosts SUPTastic, June 20 — a south to KDH, you’ll catch up with July 3’s 4th Annual Firecracker 5k, Old Glory Mile and mix of paddleboard races, classes and recreational fun around Shallow Bag Bay. $35 to race, Little Sparkler Fun Run to support Wounded Warriors. More at www.runcations.com. • free to participate. More at www.kittyhawk.com. • On June 20, Outer Banks Surfrider will Otherwise, let word ring out that all other Dare County Independence Day fireworks are celebrate the 11th Annual International Surfing Day with some grilling, chilling, swilling on July 4, with four separate displays of pyrotechnic patriotism. In Manteo, you get music and — surf permitting — wave-killing at Bonnett St. They’ll also sweep trash and keep and a show at Festival Park as The Second Marine Aircraft Wing Band brings the rockin’, planning Not The Answer NC’s fight against offshore drilling. 6pm. More at outerbanks. rad blare — while the town keeps bombs bursting in air. 8-10pm. Fireworks at dark. More at surfrider.org. • Summer camp’s a grind when John Fudala hosts three sessions of WRV www.townofmanteo.com. • Over in KDH, sparks and smoke shower across Avalon Pier like a Skate Camp at Kitty Hawk Park. ( June 25- 27; July 23- 25 and Aug. 13-15). Prices and case of exploding PBRs hitting the parking lot. More at www.kdhnc.com. • Meanwhile, Nags times at www.waveridingvehicles.com. • Speed rules when OBX Swim Club hosts the 3rd

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endnotes Head Pier lights the night sky at roughly 9:25pm. Post up way early if you want a spot — or On Aug. 2, kick up some sand — and raise some cash for the Outer Banks Relief hike up Jockey’s Ridge for a panoramic experience. More at www.nagsheadnc.gov. • On Foundation — when the OBX Sandbar 5k runs before Kitty Hawk’s historic Old Station Hatteras, Avon Pier will cap off a day of live music and festivities with a light show to make public bath house. Multiple divisions and a one-of-a-kind after-party make it a favorite. Katy Perry’s, er... eyes pop out. More at www.koruvillage.com. • And if you like your More info at www.outerbanksrelieffoundation.com. • Wanna help the Cape Hatteras celebration super traditional, hit Independence Day 1850 at Island Farm as they Anglers Club raise money for scholarships and other activities? Just scream “Bingo.” Every commemorate our nation’s birth with musket fire, games and a reading of the Declaration Wed. in summer, the Buxton fishing group plays at the Anglers Club social hall at the end of of Independence. Admission $8; children ages 5 and under free. 10am-4pm. More at www. Light Plant Road. Doors open at 6pm. Bingo at 7pm. Call 252-995-4253 for details. • While theislandfarm.com. • Pedestrians are people, too. On July 9, support ambulatory awareness you’re down there, check out the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Village — and the arts — when Roll And Stroll keeps the shops and bizzes around Nags Head’s for a monthly display of recovered artifacts, such as: speaking tubes from the USS Carl Schurz ( June 1-30), a helmet from the Gallery Row open late with live music, SS John Morgan ( July 1-31), and a meet-and-greets and kids activities from coffee urn from the Proteus (Aug. 5:30-8:30pm. • While you’re at it walk 1-31). Plus, Drew Pullen gives a free over to the Ghost Fleet Gallery. From Civil War history lesson very Wed. at July through Sept., a whimsical 2:30pm. Sam Green demonstrates the menagerie of Carol Willett’s time-worn art of decoys every Fri., Creatures of Imagination will take up 12:30-4pm. And the Salty Dawgs residence with Glenn Eure’s colorful Lecture Series continues every Tues. Onion Catcher creations, with a July 12 at 2pm, with subjects like Diving the reception, 2-4pm. Info at www. U-85 with sub and SCUBA expert Jim glenneureart.com. • Or create your own Bunch ( June 9), Mindful Nature budding artist with KDH Cooperative Photography with award-winning Gallery’s summer workshops by Julie shooter Eve Turek (Aug. 11), and Moye. Creativity Studio for Teens & Outer Banks Shipwreck Diving with Tweens offers challenging projects in Marc Corbett (Aug. 25). Find a full paint, paper and mixed media (ages 11calendar at www.ncmaritimemuseums. 14, July 27-31). Surf & Turf turns land com. • Jennette’s Pier is ground zero and sea topics into art and craft (ages for an explosion of surf action, 5-10, June 22-26). Magical and including a Surf Ironman Contest Mythical mixes art and mythology in (Aug. 1-2), an Atlantic Surfing fresh combinations (ages 5-10, July 13Federation contest (Aug. 8-9), and the 17). And Bits and Pieces turns collage, return of the Rip Curl Grom Search mosaic and assemblage into 2D and 3D (Aug. 13-14), where top coastal talents compositions (ages 8-12, Aug. 10-14). compete for a chance at international All classes are 10am-12pm and cost stardom. Plus Surfing For Autism $95. More at www.kdhcoop.com. • On shows the sea’s healing powers to 70+ July 18-19, kite-lovers let their freakiest special needs kids and their families, flags fly over the birthplace of aviation On Aug. 11, Eve Turek brings glorious nature photography and informative discussion to Hatteras Village as part of Aug. 14-15. Learn how to volunteer at — from 25-foot guitars to 100-foot the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum’s Salty Dawgs Lecture Series. www.surfingforautism.org. Or shower octopi — for the 37th Annual Wright them in donations (and dollars) at the Silent Auction at Trio on July 25. • The Waves of Kite Festival. Kids enjoy free stunt lessons and kite making. Admission to Wright Bros. Change washes over Festival Park, Aug. 8-9, with two days of worship, music and speakers. National Memorial is $4, but participation is free. More at www.kittyhawk.com. • And July Created and sponsored by The Master’s Craftsman and Cafe Lachine, this event is full of 18, it’s the most legendary skimboard event on the East Coast as KDH’s Skim Jam draws the praise and completely free. More at www.roanokeisland.com. • On Aug. 12-13 the 33rd sultans of shorebreak into an all-day battle for all ages. More at www.skimcity.com. • Triple Annual New World Festival of the Arts inspires Downtown Manteo with original works your “run, swim, run” opportunities with three installments of the 2nd Annual OBX Splash by 75 East Coast artists working in watercolors, oil and acrylic, photography, jewelry, & Dash series. Dash to the beach for a 400-meter ocean swim and finish with a 5k. It all goes sculpture, and pottery. Shows start at 10am. Free parking and shuttle busses at College of down at Jennette’s Pier, July 23, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20. More at www.runcations.com. • On The Albemarle’s Roanoke Island Campus. More at www.darearts.org. • Ch-arrrggh-ge July 25, 65+ ocean lovers gather in front of KDH Bathhouse for an epic cause with the over to Jockey’s Ridge Crossing for the Outer Banks Pirate Festival on Aug. 12-14, for 22nd Annual Surfrider Paddle Race — where seven divisions from shortboard to three days of peg legs, hooks and patches — plus, kids can take part in Scallywag School to longboard, kayak to SUP, all work their arms to raise funds for three area high school scholarships and local activism. More at outerbanks.surfrider.org. • Let the wind do the labor see if they can pass the muster for Blackbeard’s crew. More at www.kittyhawk.com. • On Aug. 18 celebrate the birth of America’s first English child as The Lost Colony and National when July 26’s Roanoke Island Maritime Museum hosts the 14th Annual One-Design Park Service host Virginia Dare Faire. From 10am-1pm, enjoy field games, red soldier Regatta. This race ’round Shallowbag Bay is open to Optimist, 420 and Sunfish with patrol — plus a special night of theatre featuring local infants in the role of Virginia Dare. youth and adult divisions. Find ’em on Facebook. • “You can do anything you want — you’re More at www.thelostcolony.org. • Finally, kick out of summer with six days of surf, sun and sex a melon!” In the case of July 30’s Outer Banks Watermelon Festival at Jockey’s Ridge appeal as top surfers and pretty girls converge on Jennette’s Pier for the WRV Outer Crossing, that means seed spitting and eating competitions, plus toy demos, face painting Banks Pro, Aug. 26-30. More at www.wrvobxpro.com. — and a splash tank. (Sorry: No Triple Lindies.) 10am-4pm. More at www.kittyhawk.com. •

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