Issue 7.1 milepost 1
“You know what this place needs? A WaWa...” Photo: Frances Drane Inglis/Outer Banks History Center
That was then.
Remember the outthere good ol’ days? gosurf
Why, when I was a pup, you could cast an eye about Nags Head and not see another house for nigh on a mile. Shipwrecks ran aground every 90 seconds, requiring immediate rescue — preferably with a Lyle gun. Every neighbor was either a lighthouse keeper, a lifesaving captain, or an aviation pioneer — possibly all three — and life was an endless adventure of noble efforts and pure intentions. I miss that world.
Actually, not really. And neither do you. Most of us can’t recall a two-lane bypass or a bridge-less inlet — much less a near-empty oceanfront — and yet, we somehow take the past century of historic losses as some kind of personal slight. Like an evil stranger cut off our limbs while we were sleeping — instead of surgically removing them before our own eyes — leaving behind a phantom pain of collective longing for a world that never even existed.
fishing boat’s center console would’ve been a set of oars. The closest surfboard was a wooden plank floating 6000 miles away. And if you think single life’s awkward today, imagine a world where every Tinder search revealed a family member — and you swiped right on the first cousin you saw.
Are we obsessed with our past? Ourselves? Maybe folks naturally have a fetish for old photos. Personally, I think we just love the concept of “then.” We were younger then. People were stronger then. Things were just plain better then.
You may not get rich, but you won’t get yellow fever, either.
Well, newsflash kiddos: they weren’t. In fact, lots of things were plenty worse, from mosquito repellant to life expectancies. A good dinner was a daily exercise in hard labor — unless you were among the handful of wealthy farmers on vacation here. (And even they were dodging malaria.) Your
So, let’s look at now. We occupy a world full of Ladies’ Nights — and Taco Tuesdays. Transportation is cheap. The ocean’s still free. And any hard worker can make an honest living. And not just by nailing boards or slinging food. You can cut records, sequin costumes, take pictures. Maybe even do a crappy magazine. You may not get rich, but you won’t get yellow fever, either. Does 1000 chain markets and 50-room homes seem an excessive price to pay? No question. Is it getting tough to find housing and afford rent? Absolutely. Would we all willingly trade the biggest box store for one more night at the Casino, the Carolinian, the Atlantis or even Kelly’s? Hell, yes.
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But nobody foisted this transformation upon us. Every lost icon — every mega-sized modern convenience — reflects a value system we adopted with our own actions. Or, most likely, with our own inactions. A missed meeting. A blind eye. A tacit agreement with ourselves that somebody else makes all the decisions — and change always happens on the previous shift. The fact is, it’s easier to love then: because we can’t do anything about it. Choosing to love now? That’s difficult. It requires paying close attention and making hard choices, perhaps even — eek! — personal sacrifice. But every second we waste pining for the days of yore won’t bring it back to life. It’s merely a distraction from doing something to preserve what we cherish right now — before it becomes then. — Matt Walker
Thank you for reading Outer Banks Milepost. We hope you enjoy it. If not — before chucking this issue in the nearest dumpster — please consider one of the following equally satisfying ways of expressing your disgust: cover it in resin, tack-on two sticks, and make a pop-out shutter for your bathroom window; shellac a whole stack and shingle your house! Or simply add it to that six-month stack of newspapers you’ve yet to recycle. (Trust us: you’ll feel better.) Then, send any and all feedback — positive, negative or just plain confused — to: email@example.com. We promise to find some way to re-purpose them.
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Outer Banks Milepost is published quarterly (sorterly) by Suite P Inc. All contents are the property of Suite P Inc. and do not reflect the opinion of advertisers or distributors. Nor do their contents reflect that of the creative types (who would never, ever sell out). Comments, letters and submissions are usually welcome. Please include SASE for return delivery of all snail mail, however, Milepost and Suite P Inc. still aren’t responsible for any unsolicited materials. And don’t expect much else to move much faster than IST (Island Standard Time). Oh yeah: if you reprint a lick of this content you’re ripping us off. (Shame on you.) To discuss editorial ideas, find out about advertising or tell us we blew it – or just find out what the waves are doing – call 252-441-6203 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. www.outerbanksmilepost.com
“This is 1966. I’d just graduated from VCU. We drove down to the Outer Banks in my ’53 Chevy. Let enough air out of the tires — and hit the deep sand in Sandbridge fast enough to get to the hard pack — and you could take any car all the way to Nags Head. Halfway home, I shot this old lifesaving station north of Corolla on Tri-X film. I overexposed it a little, printed it on high-contrast paper to get rid of the gray tones, then took it with me to grad school, where it won a national prize. And people always think it was taken in the snow, but it wasn’t. It’s just a normal summer day.”
Untitled By David Alan Harvey www.davidalanharvey.com
milepost graphiccontent gosurf outthere
— David Alan Harvey
03 StartingPoint Preservation howl. 06 UpFront Hot houses, frozen sounds, and ICEing cars. 18 GetActive Sit down and speak up. 20 QuestionAuthority The nuts and bolts behind both Bonner Bridges.
25 O ut of This World Exploring the strange limits of our alien architecture. 36 GraphicContent Check out Manteo’s sketchy past. 39 T his Bold House The arts and crafts movement just got way more creative. 46 H ome, Shoot Home Photo legend David Alan Harvey takes an Outer Banks selfie.
56 GoSurf Floating meets flying.
61 RearView A line in the sand.
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63 OutThere Tool time.
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58 FoodDrink One-stop hop shop.
64 EndNotes Your spring blueprint.
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IT’S NOT EASY getactive BUILDING GREEN — OR IS IT? startingpoint soundcheck
The dollars and sense of sustainable construction.
For all our appreciation of a natural environment, “sustainable” and “green” are not building buzzwords on the Outer Banks. Most people are more focused on saving money and surviving storms — or wooing would-be renters — than using materials and methods that are renewable, non-toxic or just smarter. But it’s not just the perception, true or not, that environmentally friendly designs are intensely difficult or extremely expensive. It’s that the subject doesn’t come up.
“There’s still not enough consumer education and awareness about it,” says Tom Haddon, owner of Haddon Homes, Inc. in Nags Head. “There’s just not the demand.”
and windows, or as dramatic as installing geo-thermal heating and cooling. But in the same way organic groceries have moved from hippie-era co-ops to the aisles of Food Lion, green building is creeping into the mainstream — even on the Outer Banks. “Things like the energy efficient windows and low-flow toilets, that’s almost out of green building and into standard building now,” Haddon explains. “Code requirements have changed. We’re all doing that now as a matter of course.”
It’s not some environmentalist agenda. graphiccontent Many customers go from being skeptics
Haddon, a National Association of Home Builders Certified Green Professional, believes he is currently the only local builder focused on environmentally sustainable and energy efficient residential construction. (He bills his company as “The Outer Banks Green Builder.”) It’s a niche that he evolved into by default over the past 16 years. Practices can be as basic as tightening seals around doors
to enthusiasts once they understand the economics. Using energy efficient windows, HVAC equipment, appliances, insulation, and lighting translates into significant savings in utility costs for minimal upfront costs. Low-flow toilets and showers keep water bills low. Just sealing the seams around a home’s frame and openings cuts power bills. For an additional $1.50 to $2 a square foot in building expenses, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in years to come.
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“The energy efficiency aspect of this is huge,” says Haddon, who builds four to five custom homes a year. “The demand comes when you can show people how you can save them money — then they’ll listen.” Customers seem much less interested in using sustainable and renewable materials and lumber, Haddon says. But it comes down to cost versus value, weighed against quality and aesthetics. Some folks do prefer using natural material, such as granite and bamboo, for countertops and flooring. To a lesser extent, solar panels or special roofing are popular, despite high upfront costs. Haddon says he also refers customers who want native salt tolerant and drought resistant plants to a local landscaper who can design eco-friendly yards. One big change in recent years is the expiration of federal and state tax credits for energy efficient housing products. When the credits were in effect, Haddon says he
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greenies,” Haddon says. “If it’s part of their value system and within reason, they’ll pay for it.” It’s not just here. Steven Webb, the legislative lobbyist for the North Carolina Home Builders Association, says that green building ebbs and flows statewide, depending on the economy. Webb, who is a member of the NCHBA’s Green Building Council, believes that homeowners seek green building methods mostly to reduce energy costs and consumption of water. But he doesn’t see any strong geographic trends in demand one way or the other. “Going back to 2009, people just wanted a house and they didn’t care how it was built,” he says. “I think the interest is picking up again.” Locally, rising seas and erosion are encouraging new ways to protect coastal areas, particularly estuarine areas. Instead of bulkheads — which accelerate erosion nearby and are often damaged in storms —
preservation groups and agencies promote natural breakwaters known as “living shorelines.”
“It definitely could work for homeowners.”
“Bulkheads reflect the wave energy back along the shoreline, which worsens erosion,” according to North Carolina Coastal Federation, which is responsible for numerous living shoreline projects on the coast. “Living shorelines act as a natural buffer, absorbing wave energy, minimizing shoreline erosion, and protecting the marsh.”
But the hindrance remains with the lengthy approval process required for a major CAMA permit.
Living shorelines earned their name from using materials — marsh grass, rip rap, limestone, wood, oyster shells — to form a reef or bank that natural ecosystems can adapt to and build up into “speed bumps” that temper erosive wave action. Over time, the shoreline will widen behind the natural structure. Reefs made of oyster shells, for instance, are so good at blunting wave action that the military is using them to protect its coastal bases. As a bonus, oysters clean the water. And a recent study by Dr. Rachel Gittman, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at East Carolina University, found that living shorelines of all types foster more diversity and higher numbers of marine organisms, and rebound quicker after storms. Dana Scarborough, project manager at Carolina Marine Structures in Powells Point, says her company has been building living shorelines for the State’s Department of Transportation and other public or commercial entities for several years. “It’s become very popular lately,” she says.
Whether irksome paperwork is a factor or not, few Outer Banks homeowners ask for living shorelines in place of bulkheads. So far.
An additional $1.50 to $2 a square foot in building costs can save thousands of dollars in years to come.
“It’s just a different way of doing a breakwater,” says Duncan Aydlett, owner of Lightning Marine Construction. “And there’s not that much demand for it.” Aydlett, who’s been building marine protection structures since 1985, said that 83 percent of his business is in bulkheading, and 17 percent is in jetties and barriers. “I don’t think many people know that much about it, even as a breakwater,” he says about living shorelines. “If people had some kind of incentive, I think they would be more popular.” Instead of focusing on the environmental benefits of sustainable building projects and materials, advocates like the U.S. Green
Building Council believe the focus should be on their resultant effects — like limiting property damage or expanding recreation opportunities. Or just providing a prettier view or cleaner water. As Calvin Hennick writes in the trade publication USGBC+, “This is the dirty little secret that clean energy advocates have stumbled on. People don’t need to care about the environment to help save it; they only need to be told what’s in it for them.” That’s exactly what the Coastal Federation plans to do, says its coastal scientist, Erin Fleckenstein, who is based in Wanchese. In fact, the Federation is already applying for grants to create an outreach program to get the word out about the effectiveness and cost benefits of natural shoreline protection. So far, the group has worked with about six contractors and another six engineering and surveying firms to construct about two dozen living shorelines in the northeast region. But it’s clear that not enough contractors and property owners are aware of the benefits. Fleckenstein says the Federation is also working to shorten the permitting process. So, as climate change puts more pressure on the coast, it’s not hard to imagine that practical solutions for homeowners will be green solutions. “It makes sense economically to build a better home,” Haddon says. “If you reduce demand on the houses you build, at least you’re doing something.” — Catherine Kozak Serving Local Seafood, Natural Proteins, Gourmet Burgers and Pizzas Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes ECLECTIC WINES, COCKTAILS, MICRO BREWS & IMPORTS ON TAP
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upfront Twice this January, the Outer Banks nearly froze to a halt. But a century ago, the new year dawned even more frigid. As December 1917 came to a close, a tsunami-sized wave of cold air brought temperatures so low that boats in the sound were trapped in place. Water transportation — the only means of accessing the islands and peninsulas at that time — ceased altogether. Food supplies dwindled. Pile on a snowstorm — plus a freak “hurricane” with winds clocked at 74 miles per hour — and you’ve got a serious winter of discontent.
FROZEN TO DEATH. getactive (ALMOST.) The winter of 1918 terrorized Outer Bankers with icy storms. startingpoint
On January 2, 1918, Manteo’s mayor, B.G. Crisp, captured the freeze in a letter to the Chief Justice of North Carolina’s Supreme Court, Walter Clark: “As I write, it is snowing, having continuously done so since early morning, it now being about 10pm. All the sounds are frozen over. Parties have walked to and from Nags Head during the day. The regular Elizabeth City boat is aground and ice locked about two miles from the north end of Roanoke Island where she has been since Saturday night.” Ironically, the weather delayed mail service, so Crisp’s letter would not reach its recipient in Raleigh for over two weeks. Meanwhile, more boats would fall victim to the weather.
roadmap gokite milepost Docks on the rocks. Photo: Outer Banks History Center
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The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey schooner, Matchless — temporarily based in Manteo while surveying the Croatan and Roanoke Sounds — was one of the first ships caught in the storm’s icy grasp. According to the USC&GS Annual Report for 1918, the crew had completed its assigned tasks on December 27 and was prepared to sail to Pasquotank County for repairs and maintenance, when “followed a series of gales and snow with freezing weather, and the vessel was held in the ice until January 17 when the ice was broken up and the schooner was towed to Elizabeth City.” On January 3, C.W. Pugh — keeper at the Roanoke Marshes lighthouse in the lower Croatan Sound off Wanchese — had to help the steamer E.R. Daniels out of the ice and tow the vessel to Manteo. But in a strange case of rescuer becoming rescued, eight days later, on January 11, Navy reservist William B. Gray carried provisions out to the lighthouse by means of a fishing dory turned ice craft. Gray adhered runners to the bottom of the fishing boat and was then able to slide on the ice out to the screw-pile light. (The Hatteras Island native later earned a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy, and fellow North Carolinian, Josephus B. Daniels. Pugh also received recognition from the Lighthouse Service for “loyal devotion to duty under hazardous conditions.”)
Adding further misery to an already bleak situation, on January 15, a blustery storm — described as a “hurricane” in newspaper accounts — swept over the sand banks, blowing 16 homes from their foundations and destroying four altogether. Twelve islanders were injured and fisherman Monroe Willis perished when he was trapped in the cabin of an overturned boat.
A blustery storm — described as a “hurricane”— swept over the sand banks.
After the gale, 50 citizens attempted to flee Roanoke Island aboard the steamer E.R. Daniels, but the ship was forced ashore at Moyock, because of heavy ice on the sound. Others boarded the Hattie Creef in hopes of reaching the mainland, but the small vessel was no match for the frozen waters and had to turn back.
Fortunately, thawing temperatures were quick to follow. By January 19 it was reported that in Elizabeth City, “boats from Roanoke Island, Hatteras, Nags Head, Columbia, East Lake, Buffalo and other ports are coming in and going out loaded with provisions to carry back home for the first time in almost three weeks.” They arrived with little time to spare. According to contemporary reports, “The stocks of groceries and other food stuffs in the small stores were exhausted several days ago and the people have been forced to divide among themselves what little food they had at their homes. Had the icebound conditions in the sound continued for more days, it is certain there would have been untold suffering and possibly many deaths.” Perhaps the writer from the Charlotte Observer summed up the ordeal best when he said, “the life of these islanders is a lonely and unenviable one under the best of circumstances. Under conditions that have prevailed the last few days it is one of actual terror.” — Sarah Downing
Sources include: Annual Report of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, 1918; “Cape Hatteras Struck by Hurricane,” The Monroe (North Carolina) Journal, Jan. 18, 1918; Reports of the Department of Commerce, 1918; “Relief Reaches People on Islands off Coast,” Richmond Times Dispatch, Jan. 17, 1918; “Sixteen Days from Manteo to Raleigh,” News and Observer, Jan. 19, 1918; “Water Transportation is being Resumed,” News and Observer, Jan. 20, 1918.
upfront soundcheck getactive startingpoint roadmap A cheering, jeering gokite look at recent events and their potential milepost impacts
JERKY BUOYS Listen up, Nitz: mariners’ VHF-FM channel 16 is no joke. Nevertheless, the Coast Guard reported a spike in false distress calls in Nov. Every hoax wastes precious resources and potentially puts responders and other boaters at risk. So pipe down sizzle-chest, or you may end up phoning around for a real bail-out — from jail. ONE VOTE WONDER What difference does one opinion make? Manteo sure found out in Nov., when a tie between two commissioner candidates resulted in a recount, a straw draw, and — ultimately — a coin toss to put Richie Burke in the seat over Martha Wickre. Seems like a silly way to elect a leader. But that’s what happens when barely 20 percent of voters bother to cast ballots.
SPANORAMIC view There’s lots of reasons to love Pea Island’s new Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge, besides the name. The old “Lego” model was tougher on tires than real ones are on bare feet. Dodging orange cones — and dropping to 25mph — added precious minutes to trips down south. Even the metal barriers were a buzzkill, blocking out both sand and sea. Luckily, the new design reverses every trend. Smooth as an offshore day. Surprisingly peaky. With near panoramic views — which guarantees we’ll still slow to a crawl to check surface conditions. THE OTHER FRIGHT MEAT Beat it, coyotes. Currituck’s northern beaches have another scary animal to contend with — feral swine. First introduced as a “hunting opportunity,” wild hogs damage vegetation, compete with wild horses for food, and threaten other animals and pets with a range of
diseases. They’re a big enough nuisance that USDA Wildlife Services are targeting the population with an “aerial shooting program” that puts sharp-shooters in helicopters for low-flying bush hunts. Did someone say “pork chopper”? WELL-READ TUBE Yeah, we know — you just look at the Internet for the articles. Well, good news: local residents can now access all of Dare County Library’s online resources, including full text magazine and journal articles, eBooks across multiple platforms, as well as databases and test preparation tools for students. All you need is a valid library card. (Students age K-12 must fill out a form.) To learn more, visit your local branch or go to darenc.com/library. And for once, you don’t have to “clear history.” HEY, THAT’S MY SPOT! Carova property owners are feeling vindicated after winning a parking battle
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with Currituck County. For years, inland families have left cars on empty lots, so they could boat to the beach and still be able to drive. Last fall, officials notified them that “storing vehicles” on land with no primary dwelling was illegal. What followed was the boardroom equivalent of a shopping mall shouting match over who owned the space — until commissioners unanimously agreed to change the law in Dec. NO QUARTER GIVEN? Or maybe it was? (To be honest, we’ve never fully understood that expression.) What we do know is that coastal homeowners felt a rare taste of insurance mercy in Jan., after NC’s commissioner rejected a proposed rate hike — one that had Dare County residents facing increases up to 25 percent. Expect another few months of battling with the Rate Bureau in advance of a July 23 hearing. Who knows, maybe residents will get a cut! ( Just kidding; we’re not that clueless.)
SQUALL VALLEY Buxton — or Breckenridge? Southern Shores — or Snowmass? For a couple weeks in Jan., it was hard to tell which was which. First, winter storm “Grayson” was a tropical-force freeze-fest. Next, “Hunter” dropped nearly ten inches of pow overnight. It all added up to a wintry mix of major hassles — lost school days, double-diamond road conditions — and occasional heroics. (Look for roof snowboarding and stair sledding in the ’22 Olympics.) But that’s what happens when you start naming weather systems after spoiled, Aspen ski bums. TEARS FOR PIERS Surfers and fishermen — sun-fearing families and fans of bitchin’ sunset backdrops — they all openly wept in Dec., when the NPS began removing Frisco Pier for safety reasons. Submerged pilings, asbestos and subzero temps didn’t make the job any easier, but contractors are on track to have every rusty nail and nasty splinter gone by May. At least
they plan to improve the parking lot — and add some bathrooms — which means better access and fewer floating water hazards in years to come. LEGENDS OF THE SANDBAR They didn’t do it for glory. They did it for love. Nevertheless, two Outer Banks surfing icons — pioneering Buxton shopowner/ board-builder, Scott Busbey, and Nags Head’s iconic shaper/photographer, Mickey “2M” McCarthy — shared a well-deserved moment in the spotlight this Jan., when they were inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame — ensuring all that love leaves a permanent mark. And helps our humble community shine even brighter.
For detailed reports on these stories and breaking local news on a daily basis — plus page after page of local discussion — visit www.outerbanksvoice.com, www.obsentinel. com and www.islandfreepress.org.
SMART-ASS COMMENT OF THE MONTH “420 solution for the ‘420 ballots that were cast.’” — OBX Resident, “Burke wins Manteo seat by coin flip after recounts end tied,” Nov. 27, 2017, OuterBanksVoice.com.
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50 years of What works
We got questions — you got answers. getactive Keith Tongier, 46 Retailer Kill Devil Hills “I’d love to build on one of the islands out in Oregon Inlet. Or live in an old hunt club. I’d have the isolation but still be close to civilization. I’d fish and gig everyday. Winter would get a little slow, but I’d just do some duck hunting from my back porch.”
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Josh Blankenship, 28 Market/Deli Manager Salvo “My perfect house is right down the street from where I live now. It’s on the beach but not oceanfront, so it still has the double dunes for protection. Twominute walk from the front door to the sea. The pool is nice, too!”
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Kay-Lee Tomlin, 22 Clerk Kill Devil Hills “I’d like to live on Bay Drive, directly on the sound. Centralized location and amazing sunsets. The home would be multi-story with wraparound decks for my future kids to run around on. Too bad there’s no lots left.” [laughs]
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Alex Ryce, 32 Event Coordinator Nags Head “Soundside, on the border of Kitty Hawk and KDH, backed-up to that path between Moore Shore and Tateway. It would have a huge garage with an office/music/art studio. A fenced-in yard for my dogs. Wraparound porches, outside showers, and a jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom. Not the bathroom — right in the bedroom.”
What’s your vision of an Outer Banks dream home? Rachel Taylor, 33 Kitchen Manager Colington “I just saw one for sale — it was three connected houses up in the trees. The main one had a gazebo, a koi pond and a built-in fire pit. One of the side houses had a bathroom that looked like an outhouse. The whole thing was magical looking and tucked away from everything.”
L E S S O N S • R E N TA L S • S A L E S — WIDEST SELECTION O F K AYA K S & G E A R ON THE OUTER BANKS
Blake Overbey, 25 Receptionist Kitty Hawk “I’d want a two-story Southern Plantation home some place in Martin’s Point. With a foyer and a grand staircase — a big open floor plan with a big kitchen. And the bathroom or bedroom would have glass ceilings to let in tons of natural light.”
Andrew Simerson, 26 Grocer Kill Devil Hills “I’d be happy with a beach box someplace between Avalon and Sportsman Drive — as long as it wouldn’t flood. But if I could put a house literally anywhere? I’d have one down by the Hatteras Lighthouse, right at First Groin.”
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Jeff Jackson, 46 Cook Nags Head “Right here in Nags Head. Right on the beach. I’d clear out all the houses a mile north and south of me to make it nice and isolated. I’d have the whole beach to myself. That would be perfect.” Interviews and images by Tony Leone
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electrician came in and, boom, it was done.”
Nothing under the hood — and it still hits 60mph in under 4 seconds. Photo: Ryan Moser
Tesla’s software also notifies drivers of station locations so they can map their routes. Businesses get a carload of customers shopping or eating while they fill up — and it only costs them about a buck an hour per vehicle in electricity. For the Brew Pub, it also adds a little extra cache to their existing clean energy vibe.
“Drivers love it when they find out they’re charging a green vehicle off our wind turbine,” says Reece.
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How local bizzes are helping fuel the electric car movement. Look, it’s a robot to watch your car while you eat! No, it’s a remote-control windshield washer! Wait! It’s really a walk-up breathalyzer to keep barflies from driving. Actually, those silvery, meter-sized statues you see popping up in local parking lots are nothing that space age. But they are a sign of things to come.
“Maybe not next year,” says Southern Shores’ John VanderMyde, as he plugs his Tesla S100 sedan into a car charging station at Duck’s Waterfront Shops. “Or the year after. But electric vehicles are definitely the future.”
While still a small part of the total US new car market — not quite one percent — demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is racing forward, with growth tripling over the past five years. Furthermore, battery-powered EVs (BEVs) — cars that do not have an internal combustion engine — total almost 70 percent of all EV sales. Every year, that means more Teslas, Chevy Volts, BMW I3s, and Nissan Leafs will be invading the Outer Banks. They may not all need gas, but they all still need fuel. And businesses are lining up to fill that need.
“I had noticed more coming to the shopping center,” says Matt Price, manager of the Waterfront Shops, which installed four Tesla stations last fall. “We thought it would be nice for people to charge while they’re shopping. And it kind of underlines what we’re trying to do to minimize our [environmental] impact. We’ve changed our toilets to low
you can’t sell cars if they don’t move.
flow. Our lights are LED. It’s just kind of our vision of where we want to go.” According to EV websites, roughly a dozen charging stations exist from Corolla to Buxton to Manteo. Some are guesthouses serving their overnight customers, like the Sanderling Resort, Pamlico on the Sound, and Roanoke Island Inn. Others are RV parks willing to share their camper hook-ups. Most give preference, if not exclusivity, to their own clientele. But more local bizzes are installing chargers to serve the general public. And both here and nationally, one company is leading the charge (no pun intended) by installing thousands of stations around the country for free: Tesla. Why? “They’re basically a battery company that sells cars,” says VanderMyde. And you can’t sell cars if they don’t move. Luckily, the electric grid is everywhere. After years of adding Super Charger Stations near high-density areas and interstates, Tesla is reaching into increasingly remote areas by offering Destination Charging Stations at condos, restaurants and malls that meet certain criteria. If the right business makes a request, the company will send the equipment and maybe even pay for the installation. “The Tesla guys were totally on point,” says Outer Banks Brewing Station’s Eric Reece. “They even sent us signs. An
So, why don’t EV owners just plug in at home? They do. In fact, most will install special Level 2 chargers, which run off a 50-amp fuse with a 240-volt line and can fully charge most batteries overnight. But visitors aren’t at home; they’re in a rental. Plug into a standard 120 outlet and that same “fill-up” can take two days. Or you can go out for lunch and add 60 miles to your range in just two hours. That’s assuming nobody’s stolen your charging spot to fill-up first — or even worse, “ICEd” it for no reason. “‘ICEd’ is EV driver slang for when an Internal Combustion Engine car blocks an EV charging station parking space,” says Vandermyde. “It can range from minor annoyance to huge deal if you need that spot to keep traveling.” It’s about to become a bigger deal. The Tesla 3 is just hitting streets for a comparatively low $36,000, with a 220-mile range. Meanwhile, big players like UPS, Anheuser-Busch, and Sysco are ordering electric semis, which might need to sneak a charge between shipments. As prices drop, competitors rise, and uses expand, there will only be more EVs on the road, and more demand for energy. Fortunately, Tesla has plans for a new Super Charger Station, someplace in Point Harbor. Not only will it offer more places to plug in, but they work extra fast — a 20-minute charge gets you anywhere on the Outer Banks, and an hour fill-up will reach all the way to DC. In some ways, it’s like living back in 1907, when Standard Oil built their first gas stations in Seattle to meet the demand of a mere 140,000 U.S. cars. Now, of course, there’s a place to refuel on virtually every street corner. “It’s got to go that way, no matter what anyone says,” Reece says. He then adds, “If Tesla would send us a test car, that would be awesome.” — Kip Tabb
Learn more about becoming a Tesla Destination Charger at www.tesla.com/charging-partners. And keep tabs on the electric car charging options here, there and everywhere at www.plugshare.com and www.pluginamerica.org. milepost 15
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Want your town to fulfill its potential? Try filling a community seat.
Folks of all political persuasions love to talk about what’s best for their community. Few know how the gears of government really work. And fewer still step forward to do their part and participate — which explains why Dare County’s local governments are struggling to staff the various boards and commissions that fall under their control.
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“It’s a challenge,” says Southern Shores Town Manager Peter Rascoe. “We advertise in different ways, but there aren’t as many applicants as there were in past years.”
Not that they don’t try. In February, Kill Devil Hills sent a spring letter listing a litany of openings, from Planning Board to the Community Appearance Commission. Dare County had such a hard time filling their Board of Adjustments, they changed the rules to allow anyone in Dare County to serve — and not just those who live in unincorporated areas — and they still have two vacancies. Some elected officials will even extend personal invites. “Gary [Mayor Gary Perry] does a really good job at trying to recruit applicants by talking to groups, friends and others,” says Kitty Hawk Town Councilman Ervin Bateman. “But we still have a very small amount of applications to choose from.”
And there’s no shortage of committees and boards that cover a range of duties. In some cases, these are serious matters, like the Board of Adjustments or Planning Board, where members field potential code and zoning changes for the commissioners to vote on. Or the Dangerous Animal Appeal Board, which meets when there’s a question about someone’s pet. Either one might make a real impact on people’s lives. Too busy? Time commitments range from “when needed” — which could translate into once every year — to monthly. Afraid of controversy? No problem! How about helping Dare County’s Parks and Rec Advisory Committee promote, plan and coordinate activities and programs for youth and adults. Some appointed board and committee members actually receive compensation ranging from $25 to $400 per meeting. But the real reward is helping build the town you want from the inside — while weighing a variety of opposing interests to figure out a common good. “I served on the Planning Board for many years,” says Bateman. “It allowed me to learn how government works.” Look right for a sample of service opportunities and current vacancies. — Sandy Semans
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS The BOA is a quasi-judicial board with big responsibilities. It hears appeals and reviews orders, requirements, decisions, or determinations made by the Dare County Zoning Administrator/planning director. It may approve or reverse (totally or partially) or modify a decision. And, in some cases, it may vary or modify any provision of the Zoning Ordinance if it is causing undue hardship and can be done while the spirit of the ordinance is observed, public safety and welfare secured, and justice done. Current Vacancies: Dare County, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head PLANNING BOARD The Planning Board reviews and recommends action on land use, development plans, and issues within the local government’s physical jurisdiction. Any major code change, from height limits to density, starts here before heading to the town boards for a vote. Current Vacancies: Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION As new developments pop up, preserving the past becomes important. Many towns have some sort of commission designed to determine what’s historic and what’s just old. Current Vacancy: Kill Devil Hills
In some cases, members field potential code or zoning changes
DARE COUNTY MISCELLANEOUS The county has a cornucopia of committees always seeking members. Current vacancies include: Library Board–East Albemarle Region helps establish local policies and oversees the Library Trust Fund Budget. It also serves on the Board of the Dare County Library Foundation, a 501-C(3) tax-exempt organization. Meets quarterly. Older Adult Services Advisory Council advises Dare County in its efforts to promote, organize, plan, and coordinate services and programs for residents and visitors to Dare County who are 55 years of age and older. Currently seeking a member to represent the mainland area. Transportation Advisory Board is required by the state’s Community Transportation Program and is expected to maintain ongoing communications as a means of seeking public involvement and ongoing administrative oversight. The board consists of members from the community representing the following sectors: Human Service Agencies, Private Sector, Public/Business, and Government Agencies. Currently, two vacancies need to be filled from the public and business sectors. Parks and Recreation Advisory Council reviews and advises the Department of Parks and Recreation in its efforts to promote, organize, plan, and coordinate activities and programs for youth and adults in Dare County. Three board seats are available. Youth Council is a community-based youth volunteer organization whose mission is to provide wholesome activities, civic projects, and special events for their peers and to serve as the “voice” of youth to local governments on issues of interest to Dare County youth. Two vacancies: Hatteras Island and one “at large” seat. For criteria and how to apply, follow-up with the appropriate municipality, then file your app for the next available opening.
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It’s been decades since Oregon Inlet teemed with so much getactive activity. PCL Construction’s Sean Bush describes what’s going down — or, rather, up.
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graphiccontent gosurf outthere gohunt rearview Serious assembly required. Photo: Wes Snyder milepost
Since 1963, crossing Bonner Bridge has been among the Outer Banks’ more sublime experiences. A soaring opportunity to survey the natural bounty below. For the past two years, however, Mother Nature’s had to fight for drivers’ attentions, as PCL puts together the semi-trusty span’s brand-new replacement. Workers north and south of the inlet creep toward the center, laying down giant girders. In the middle, floating cranes assemble precast segments of concrete to create monstrous T-shapes. And every day is a new demonstration in masterful engineering, sparking fresh questions, like, “How does everything fit together?” And, “What if one of those curved, concrete pieces falls?” “It may look like it’s going to fall off,” says PCL construction manager Sean Bush. “But the same process is happening on both platforms, so you’re always in balance.” One obvious difference? Size and shape. The new bridge has 10 cantilevers and 11 spans, nine of which are high enough to let ships pass underneath if necessary. It’s also longer — 2.8 miles vs. 2.4 — and wider and higher, with a 100-year lifespan. (The old bridge was designed to last 30.) As the new structure takes shape, the old bridge looks more and more like the little brother who never grew up. Yet, despite a couple of weather delays and last summer’s electrical mishap, this massive effort remains largely on schedule, with a ribbon cutting due in November of 2018 — and demolition of the old bridge finishing up by September of 2019. With the whole process roughly two-thirds complete, we sat down with Mr. Bush to get some insight on how the new bridge is stacking up.
MILEPOST: Looking at old construction photos, the first thing that stands out is they started from the north side and went straight across. This project seemed to start from both sides and the middle all at once. Is that just because you had the old Bonner in place to transport materials? SEAN BUSH: I wasn’t there, but the old Bonner Bridge is what we call a conventional “beam and girder” bridge, with a castin-place deck. So you have a beam that’s supported by a pier on each end, and then it spans across, and then you cast the concrete deck on it — like icing a cake. You make one span at a time and connect them. Just like an old footbridge. So, quite simply, they probably went from point A to point B — which doesn’t sound too sexy, but it makes sense. What I notice in old photos is how much water they had to build over. There’s more sand and marsh on the north side now. And anyone who’s familiar with Oregon Inlet knows the sand’s all shifting and shoaling. So one reason the new bridge looks so different — and so much bigger — is the DOT planned ahead for that natural channel migrating around by having nine different
spans to choose from. And if the channel moves, they can move the navigation lights. And it’s probably only ten feet higher, clearance-wise, but it’s higher for longer because of those nine channels. That’s why I sometimes call Bonner a “bridge within a bridge,” because that high section is 3550 feet with 11 spans. It’s a decent-sized bridge on its own. From a distance, it almost looks like a giant cartoon boa constrictor swallowed something. How does that work? Well, we treat the bridge as two working sections. There’s the “approaches section” — the flat parts and the transitions. And that’s basically like the old Bonner Bridge — precast girder with a cast-in-place bridge deck. And then there’s the “marine section,” which is the most visible part. That’s a precast segmental bridge. We start by driving pilings in the water to create a footing. Then we build a pier up that’s made of precast concrete pieces. And then we stand two skinny pieces on top of that pier and connect them. From there, we attach pre-cast segments to each side, in a balanced cantilever fashion — we call them “1 Up” and “1 Down,” “2 Up” and “2
Down” — so it looks like a big T. Then there’s something called “post tensioning.” Each time we hang a pair of segments, one on either side, we run a cable of high-strength steel that’s anchored and squeezes them together — like beads on a string. We do that all the way to “12 Up” and “12 Down,” completing the cantilever. At that time you connect to an adjacent cantilever section — and that has 12 pieces on each side, too. So, all told, you have 24 of these 14-foot segments between each piling.
How much do the pieces weigh? Because when they’re sitting on top of the piling, it almost looks like they could fall.
“It actually is a lot like Legos.”
They vary in height, so the biggest ones closest to the piers are — sean a little over 110 tons. Bush And the small ones get under 100 tons. So that’s an average of 200,000 pounds each. And each one of these segments is hollow, otherwise they would be too heavy. But the two skinny pieces in the middle are almost solid. So they’re really heavy. And they’re resting on a bridge bearing that allows it to slide for temperature. During the construction phase, there’s four big, 800-ton capacity jacks that let you position to point in the right direction, so everything meets up well. It might look precarious, but it’s supposed to be adjustable. And there’s a lot of engineering behind it. It’s common for this type of bridge. So when you line it all up, is that all engineering? Or do you use something like GPS? Where the fit becomes critical is actually when they’re made. Because the bridge curves, each segment is slightly different. Some are more pie-shaped. So we precast all of them off-site in a controlled environment. And each segment is poured against the next. They call it “match-cast.” So let’s say they’re pouring the Number 3 — the Number 2 is already made, sitting right next to it, so it fits. Then they pull them off and put them in storage. When they
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come to us, we’ll survey them within 1/32nd of an inch to make sure they’re pointing the right way. It sounds like it’s a spine of vertebrae being built off-site in pieces. And then it comes here, and y’all hoist it up and assemble it. Almost like Legos? It actually is a lot like Legos. And they’re tight. When we get them here, we glue the faces with an epoxy compound that makes a watertight joint. But it’s also a lubricant before it cures. So you can get that adjustment right when you do that post-tensioning with the steel cable. And that post-tension really gives the spine its strength. Because, when you’re pulling the cable tight with these big hydraulic rams, you’re actually stretching the steel like a rubber band. And when you lock it off, the steel wants to spring back, compressing the bridge. And as you add pieces it gets stronger and stronger. So there’s a cable that goes from “12 Up” to “12 Down,” and another for “11 Up “ to “11 Down,” “10 Up to 10 Down,” and so on. At the cantilever, there’s 12 cables going through it for maximum strength. And all that pressure gets transferred down the piling and into the ground.
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How long does it take to put a whole section together? On a good day you can “hang” two segments, so you can build a whole section in 12 working days. But that never happens, because you have weather or some delay of some kind. So it’s usually a month for each one. I’m sure those cold snaps didn’t help. If it’s super windy, do you hold off? Yes. For a couple of reasons. If it’s super windy, it doesn’t help when you try to lift things and it also kicks up the water. Or you get swells coming in. And working with big, heavy structures takes big, heavy pieces of machinery to build them, so we have an enormous equipment fleet. If you look at the old photo, there’s what? Four cranes? I think we have 19 right now. Given that amount of equipment, every day something is breaking down. Not because of abuse or maintenance — we have a whole mechanics team working full time to keep things running — it’s just the probability of having
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questionauthority upfront soundcheck getactive startingpoint roadmap gokite milepost graphiccontent gosurf outthere gohunt rearview There’s a lot more water under this bridge. Aycock Brown’s aerial perspective shows just how much the inlet has changed since the early ’60s. Photo: Outer Banks History Center
that many moving parts on something. But, right now, we have three of those big cantilevers still to go. I’d expect that we’ll be finished up with that portion of the bridge by this May. Speaking of delays, how bad was that electrical issue this summer? Yes, as you know, two transmission lines were damaged, disrupting power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. PCL immediately addressed the issue and established a claim site for the individuals and businesses that were impacted. Beyond that, it’s company policy not to comment on matters of prospective litigation. All I know is, every time I cross the bridge with my contractor buddy, I go: “You think you’ve got headaches.” How stressful is this job?
I mean, it comes with the territory. All construction has deadlines. All jobs have stress. How stressful is open-heart surgery? I don’t want to do that job. [laughs]
“The design life is 100 years. It’ll be around longer than we’ll be around.”
What’s the most rewarding part then? Probably the integration with all the people. It sounds corny, but you assemble all these men and women with different trades, skills and specialties, and at the end of the day the team builds something tangible. Something with longevity. The design life is 100 years. It’ll be around longer than we’ll be around. So is there a general feeling when you’re done? Relief? Pride? Can you compare it to something? If there’s a sense of any great relief — it’s the ribbon cutting. Of course, workers will have been driving across it for a while by then. But getting those first official cars across and turning it over to the DOT? That’s the finish line. I don’t know what to compare it to, but it definitely feels good. — Kip Tabb w/ Matt Walker
The preceding interview was edited for space, flow and clarity. For the full conversation — including the politics of who crosses first — go to www.outerbanksmilepost.com. milepost 23
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All Outer Banks architecture is essentially alien. So why stop pushing limits?
out of this world
A few miles past Buxton, about halfway through Frisco, sits “The UFO House.” Part Space Age flying saucer, part tricked-out trailer, this fiberglass structure of Finnish heritage is both 100 percent cookie-cutter and 100 percent non-indigenous — one of several dozen pre-fab designs shipped to places all over the planet. And yet, 40 years since its arrival, it remains synonymous with the Outer Banks. One might think such a pedigree makes it an anomaly. The truth is it’s the norm. “There is no native architecture,” says longtime local architect and recently elected Nags Head mayor, Ben Cahoon. “Literally, everything here came from somewhere else.” In other words, all our houses are “UFO houses.”
By Matt Walker
Blast from the past. Kitty Hawk’s 1874 Lifesaving Station was among the first architectural outliers to land on local beaches. Not much is left of the original, except bracketed gables, but we’re still feeling its impact more than a century later. Photo: Chris Bickford
first contact Pick a favorite building. A style. An exterior siding or interior element. Any characteristic, you can trace its origin to outside influences, from Whalehead’s standalone take on a French Chateau to the 1930s bungalows that decorate Manteo’s tree-lined streets. Even Cottage Row’s treasured “Old Nags Headers” share more design DNA with Colerain than coastal NC. “Historically, we didn’t have architects building on the Outer Banks,” explains John Wilson, architect and former Manteo mayor. “We had families from inland escaping the hot summer and malaria and bringing their children to the beaches. And they were really building nothing more than a simple Northeastern North Carolina farm house.” Drive west an hour or so, you’ll see the same open porches, sheds and rear kitchens. That’s because when wealthy farmers first came to the beach in the late 1800s, they brought what they knew, then made adaptations. Short stilts allowed sand and water to flow underneath; southwestfacing “ells” exposed homes’ innards to summer breezes. But that style would’ve at least felt familiar to the existing populations of Roanoke Island and Kitty Hawk. For a real alien invasion, look no further than the federal government. In 1873, the U.S. Lifesaving Service decided all coastal stations should be uniform. Instead of scouring local beaches for hardy, homegrown ideas, they hired DC architects with contemporary tastes. And in the late 1800s, nothing was more popular than the highly decorative, European-influenced “Stick Style.” As Marimar McNaughton writes in her book, Outer Banks Architecture: An Anthology of Outposts Lodges and Cottages, “The construction plans and specifications…had more to do with [their] education and training than the needs of the lifesaving service at the time.” The stylistic result was “a vocabulary of Gothic arches and gargoyles, roof angles and eave supports.” And, in 1874, “all of these influences came together under the single-gabled roof of the one-and-a-half-story, eighteen-by-forty-two-foot Chicamacomico station.” Others were quick to follow in Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills. In the coming decades, the Service refined the style — losing some ornamentation; adding watchtowers, dormers and shingled siding — periodically
dropping new variations from Buxton to Corolla, back when the Outer Banks coast was nearly as barren and featureless as the moon itself. Now, imagine that out of the sky — or at least out of DC — strange creatures keep landing on the beach. Just like E.T., you have two choices: reject them, or adopt them. We adopted them — with a vengeance. Nearly 150 years later, you can find watchtowers, board-and-batten siding, and “gable brackets” — the white, ornamental crosses that burnish the eaves — on everything from Rodanthe rentals to Dare County schools. You can also find historic examples scattered around the country, from lifesaving stations in Cape Cod and Oregon to Stick Style mansions in the Minneapolis suburbs. Yet, we locals still see these elements as quintessentially Outer Banks. Not because they were always here — but because they weren’t. “Once there were lifesaving stations every seven miles from Hatteras to Corolla, you begin to see that vocabulary show up on single family dwellings,” says Wilson. “But before that, Outer Bankers lived in purely regional vernacular buildings. They were the first real, individual architectural vocabulary that came to the Outer Banks.”
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SECOND KIND “Vernacular.” “Vocabulary.” Architects like language terms. Maybe that’s because design, like speech, is equally as influenced by the cultural zeitgeist of the day. Cahoon likens the evolution of design styles and standards to making a “stew where people accept and reject new ingredients to achieve an agreed upon ‘flavor.’” And once Outer Bankers discovered an appetite for America’s latest architectural vernacular, we ate it up by the boatload — literally. Right about the time builders began borrowing ideas from lifesaving stations, Elizabeth City lumber mills started shipping in pre-cut interior elements — beadboard for walls, balusters and newel posts for staircases, “bullseye” corner pieces for window trim. After decades of drab living, residents were all too happy to liven up their decor with inexpensive, ready-made flair. Soon, they were buying houses out of a catalog — and delivered in a box.
Once Outer Bankers discovered an appetite for America’s latest architectural vernacular, we ate it up by the boatload.
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“Bungalows were the next big design evolution,” says Wilson. “Sears Roebuck and another company called Aladdin had multiple places across the country in which they would cut the wood, put it on a train, ship it into that region. The windows, the doors, the light fixtures, the kitchen, the bathtub. Everything was in the kit.”
Wilson should know. He owns The Croatan Cottage, a circa-1930 bungalow in Downtown Manteo that remains almost entirely original, from exterior color to wall switches. Looking at the bright orange paint job and boxy columns among the surrounding, revered, old school Victorians, you can’t help but wonder: “What did the neighbors think?” And yet, local builders immediately began building similar styles, as residents demanded the latest national trend. In fact, today, we still think of the bungalow as one of our county seat’s most classic designs.
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As recognized regional expert Catherine Bishir explains in North Carolina Architecture, “Bungalows suited North Carolina’s needs and habits. They were cheaply and easily built. They ranged in size and elaboration to accommodate all economic levels. And they communicated a message of simplicity, unpretentious coziness and modernity. Their characteristic broad eaves and porch fit the climate — indeed, in profile, many bungalows resembled coastal cottages in their integration of porch and house.” In other words, bungalows fit in more than they stood out. Because while everything fresh begins as fashion — be it the latest slang or the newest siding — what survives is function. So what functions? Well that all depends on who’s building — and who’s buying.
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It’s hard to overstate just how fast our northern beach towns developed. Check any aerial photos after World War II, the island looks like a narrow sea of sand, isolated homes and hotels scattered like an architectural archipelago. In 1940, Nags Head had just 45 permanent residents. Kitty Hawk’s population was a whopping 296. Southern Shores was like the end of the earth. So, when Frank Stick (no relation to Stick Style) built his first famous Flat Tops in 1946, he wasn’t just charting new territory, he was permanently altering the landscape. He was also catering to a whole new population — with help from a host of external pressures — including a booming post-war economy and an untapped flood of beach-loving, car-owning Americans who had their own tastes. “You have to think about the total context,” says Cahoon. “What’s worthwhile for a developer to take a chunk of land and subdivide and build on speculation? We had a bridge, we had roads — people could get here in larger numbers, so it made sense to try. Frank Lloyd Wright had come and gone, so that Usonian small house model was what was cool at that moment. Frank Stick finds a way to adapt that design to the beach context, finds a market for it, and starts to build them. And it works!”
Lumber was still scarce due to wartime rationing, but there was an endless supply of other building materials hitting the beach.
The only problem was materials. Lumber was still scarce due to wartime rationing, but there was an endless supply of alternatives hitting the beach on a daily basis. And Stick had plenty of design fodder in mind from his winter fishing trips to the Sunshine State.
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As McNaughton explains, “Stick and his associates, including Curtis Gray, built a concrete block manufactory at Kitty Hawk, using the pebbly beach sand as his mortar, and he began designing and building beach cottages, modeled after resorts in Florida and the western United States. What little wood he could get his hands on went toward a ‘cheap and cheerful’ roofing solution — the flat top.” Sure, the brightly colored shutters and eaves might have “pushed the limits of what had been considered acceptable up to that point,” but they weren’t necessarily aimed at local buyers. Before long, Flat Tops would “dominate the landscape.”
Flatter is radder. Frank Stickâ€™s designs feel retro today, but in the late 1940s, low-profile and square were cutting-edge, national trends. Photo: Chris Bickford
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Indeed, that same style would define some of the beach’s earliest retailers, like the beloved Gray’s Department Store. (Now Seagreen Gallery.) Meanwhile, in what was to become Kill Devil Hills, developers borrowed the flat top design to build “Avalon Beach” — a collection of smaller, 800-square-footers constructed for shallower pockets. But, ironically, the very physical feature that made them unique would prove to be their biggest flaw: flat roofs proved prone to leaking. And burying pipes beneath concrete was not exactly convenient. “I’d say it’s 50/50 how functional they were,” says architectural historian Penne Sandbeck. “They should’ve thought through the roofs a little bit more. But the overhangs worked for shade and shelter from rain; the houses were planned for flow of breeze. Back when our expectations were lower, they were probably fine.” Ironically, in the end, the same outside pressures that made flat tops work would ultimately be their demise, as future developers would raze many of them to make way for larger, fancier oceanfront homes. But by then, Stick’s real work was done. From that point on, Outer Banks architecture wasn’t designed for the locals. It was designed to please families who came for the season — or less — and who had desires and expectations of their own. And they outnumbered us ten to one.
SPACE INVADERS Up to this point, if you were to pick a single Outer Banks design element, it would be “plainness.” Even those fabulously colored flat tops kept low profiles. And while none of our earliest structures still exist, we can agree they surely weren’t showy. “They were simply framed, post-in-the-ground structures,” says Sandbeck, who’s studied buildings along coastal Virginia and North Carolina as far back as you can go. “They wanted to build it and get it done. The problem is, sooner or later, posts are going to rot. [laughs] But whatever was here, it was even plainer than you like to think — plainer than these houses that got some ideas from lifesaving stations.”
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Add to this legacy the humble beach box. Basic frame. Quickly assembled. Literally stuck in the ground, these cottages infiltrated the 1950s, then multiplied just as the year-round population was growing to feed a booming tourist trade. If you’re one of the summer college kids who colonized the area after 1980, you likely see these rough-hewn homes as part of the Outer Banks’ blue-collar, architectural heritage. But it’s really just another Yankee invader propped up on stilts.
If you’re one of the summer college kids who colonized the area after 1980, you likely see these homes as part of the Outer Banks’ blue-collar heritage.
In fact, flip to page 61 of John Wilson’s 1981 Masters thesis, and you can virtually feel the anger surrounding his illustration of a new neighborhood made of “mass-produced building materials, sheet plywood siding and plastic-wood grained interior paneling” — topped with a header screaming, “The coast of North Carolina? Or New Jersey?”
But it’s not the beach box’s style or origin that made Wilson seethe. It was their purpose. These quick-and-dirty designs were a way to woo as many potential tourists, buyers and investors as possible. Indeed, they are the area’s first real “Rental
built. borrowed. stolen.
An abridged history of our most beloved — yet least indigenous — architectural elements
YE OLDE TUDOR FAÇADE This year, Manteo’s Pioneer Theatre will celebrate a century of cinematic wonder. With a history that runs from The Wizard of Oz to The Last Jedi, it’s easy to think its Tudor-style frontage is just as classic. And yet, the brown-and-tan façade’s been there for half that time — and tells just half the story. As John Wilson explains, “In the mid-to-late 60s, downtown merchants were having to acknowledge that you didn’t have to come to Manteo from Nags Head to buy things anymore. They could see the town beginning to die. And they decided that if they could create a tourist attraction, they could change from the county seat and mercantile hub of the Outer Banks into more of a tourist economy.” Tapping into their Lost Colony roots, the town went on a decade-long “Tudoring” spree that still lingers on a few bizzes and government buildings. Today, the semi-timbered character is a charming reminder of olden times, with still more architectural gold lying beneath. As John notes, “Right behind the Pioneer’s façade is an Art Deco building with yellow brick, all sitting there, waiting to be revealed.”
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SHADY HANGOUTS What’s the coolest piece of Outer Banks architecture? The porch. From Manteo’s noble Victorians and craftsman bungalows, to the beach’s 1950s flat tops and blue collar beach boxes, every home must offer some outdoor spot to hang out and hide from the sun. None are chiller than the original, as Old Nags Headers’ wraparound style comes with plenty of leg room and catches breezes from every direction. Some even built benches into the corners — adding “lean-out porches” and screens for extra shade. And yet, even that custom feature runs back to their inland ancestors. Says John Wilson: “Northeastern NC farm houses would have sinks on the porch, where they’d push roofs out from the railing and the screen would come down at an angle. So that whole thing that we see today with popped-out benches most likely started in Colerain and Windsor and Edenton.”
BEADBOARD & BALUSTERS Before there was Lowe’s. Or Home Depot. Or even Kellogg’s, Elizabeth City lumber mills were shipping in pre-fab elements for Outer Bankers — beadboard for walls; balusters and newel posts for stairs; “bullseye” corner pieces to trim windows. And just like today, décor-starved homeowners installed them faster than you could say, “Free delivery!” “Everyone lived very simply then,” says Penne Sandbeck. “Even people with money. And all of a sudden there’s these great staircases and patterned walls available — and someone else is doing it for you. That’s a huge technological jump.” Of all the mills, one was most prolific: Kramer Brothers, which virtually cornered the market with a mix of old-school quality and pure business cunning. Says John Wilson: “Most windows were 30 inches, 32 inches, 36 inches, 28 inches — they were an even number. But Kramer only made them 29-inches. If you needed a replacement sash, there was only one place to get it. So, if you own an old house and it has 29-inch windows, they probably came from Kramer.” milepost 31
Machine” — arriving just as locals were starting to feel the squeeze. And no amount of humility can hide their true purpose. “Building happens on two levels,” says Cahoon. “At one level, individuals have their own stylistic preferences and tastes that dictate what it is they build or buy. And builders cater to that. At the next level, when you have enough context, there’s sort of a social decision where people say, ‘We like what we have.’ At that point, the person who builds something different is a disruptor. They may not see themselves as a disruptor, but in a way, they are.”
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Today, there are any number of disruptors. Wings stores. Strip malls. Wal-Mart. But the Rental Machine still reigns supreme. Except now, they’re larger and showier to maximize profit. Lots these days cost a fortune — so a house must grow in proportion to the price of the land it sits on. Add an increasingly competitive market, and you get a feedback loop of greedier buildings that blurs the lines of fashion and function like never before. “A beach house now is almost like an iPhone,” says Cahoon. “It has to have X, Y and Z features, or people won’t rent it. The market determines what those features are, but then the town says, ‘That’s a big house so you have to do a certain number of things to mitigate it.’ So, the function is being dictated by the market; the fashion is dictated by the development regulations.” But you can’t dictate taste. As builders come up with larger designs, they apply new ways to look somewhat traditional but still grab your eye. And every day, another classic beauty gives way to a new architectural trophy wife that’s younger, hotter — with all the sexy features — but still feels fake.
Every day, another
classic beauty gives
Wilson calls them “Monster Houses.” But they don’t just swallow historic homes and hotels. These structures overpower all other surrounding design, as buyers of all stripes get smitten — just like they did with every other fresh trend — and builders of all sizes aim to please.
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Ride around town, you’ll see some level of historic interpretation on almost every new construction. Watchtowers rise from mega churches — and tiny cottage courts. Beach boxes mix Victorian columns with louvered, metal “Bahama shutters.” Developers knock out whole neighborhoods of plastic shingles and vinyl batten board. (Don’t forget to trim out the pilings for a touch of color.) In an attempt to stay classic and consistent, we’ve become almost cookie-cutter. “When we talk about vernacular architecture, it’s an evolving, traditional architecture with some indigenous roots,” says Sandbeck. “So you’re going to have some quirky things happen when they’re adapted, because the people who adapt it aren’t necessarily skilled technicians. Or they’re not necessarily conversant in architectural precepts.” To be fair, some strike the absolute perfect tone between treasured past and modern charm. Some are way too over the top. Many are just plain uninspired. Chances are
BRACE YOURSELF In the 1870s, when DC decided all U.S. Life-Saving Stations should be uniform, the final blueprints followed a popular national style filled with decorative Gothic elements. “Some people call it Stick Style,” says Penne Sandbeck. “Because of the narrow vertical siding, which looked like sticks. But with the rise of factory and ready-to-assemble ornamentation, everyone was getting a little giddy with stuff.” Of all the fancy features, “bracketed gables” were the most obvious. Today, they’re the easiest to recreate. (Why bother siding a whole house in cedar when you can slap together two sticks?) And while each bracket’s location may look custom-made to hold down a roof in a hurricane, it was never intended to help your house handle the weather. “It’s not functional at all,” says Sandbeck. “It’s all decorative.”
PILING IT HIGH You’d be hard-pressed to find a more romanticized piece of local lumber than the humble piling. To some, they’re the foundational equivalent of a Zen philosopher — bending with brute winds instead of breaking. Others see them as the best way to beat the next Biblical flood. But as anyone who’s weathered a winter cyclone will attest, these sturdy timbers still shiver like hell. And while the earliest oceanfront houses stood up on stilts, they were elevated only half as high. So what pushed them taller? “That really came about with federal flood insurance in the late ’60s,” Wilson explains. “In order to qualify, you had to elevate the house this many times the flood height — maybe six feet above the land. But because of cars, you might as well go eight feet and drive under.” Today, every beach box has plenty of room to play underneath, all thanks to the federal government — and Henry Ford.
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SHAKY LOGIC If there’s a design point that outclasses stilts for local status, it’s the “cedar shake.” Known for its weathered charm — and long-term durability — this scaly exterior can add a layer of Outer Banks street cred to any construction. And yet, they’re not local at all. In fact, they’re not even “shakes.” “Shakes are hand-split, with different thicknesses all throughout,” says John Wilson. “They’re what’s on Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Here, we have always used shingles. Evenly sawn, milled shingles — each one has the same thickness at the bottom, the same narrowness at the top, and the shingle beside it is very much the same.” According to Catherine Bishir, the shingle resurgence actually started in New England in 1870 and swept through NC roughly 20 years later, where they “were well-suited to the rigorous weather of the Outer Banks.” That’s because we went on to add our own personal touches. Says Wilson, “Outer Bankers had built boats for 100 years, so they knew which wood had oils to preserve and protect — mostly juniper and cedar. So, wood shingles were the logical thing to do.” A century-and-ahalf later, it still is.
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you hate them all — unless you bought or built one. You might even say they’re the least Outer Bansky thing on the planet. The truth? They’re now the definition of Outer Banks architecture. “Beach boxes didn’t grow out of the area,” says Wilson. “Flat tops didn’t grow out of the area. But that style grew out of the area. I wish we had a better name than ‘Monster Houses,’ because some day people will grow to revere them.” It’s happening already. Head west toward Plymouth — or north to VB — you can already see the same formulas filtering inland. Rooflines start boasting watchtowers instead of cupolas. Both sheds and storefronts do their best (and occasionally worst) impressions of 19th century lifesaving stations. New neighborhoods — and even giant condoplexes — steal coastal names, sticking every OBX flavor in one blender: from shingles (vinyl) to pop-out shutters (Bahama) to ‘gable brackets’ that are basically white picket crosses. It’s as if, a century and a half later, those alien designs from NC farms and DC designers have not just mutated, but begun migrating home, fixing to populate the planet like a whole new species. “Like it or not, that’s our gift to architecture,” laughs Wilson. “But architecture’s not a book that ends. It just keeps going.” So what’s next? That’s entirely up to us.
TAKE US TO YOUR LEADERS There’s a place where rugged individualism still reigns supreme. Where code is loose and zoning can be non-existent. Where a flying saucer can happily co-exist among Rental Machines and round houses, highly groomed neighborhoods and dilapidated water parks. It’s called Hatteras Island. And while it’s not as barren as the late 1800s, it is — for all intents and purposes — just as wide open.
The porches wrap. The sides are cedar. The roof is flat. And the tower is bold. Tradition meets vision in Salvo. Photo: Daniel Pullen milepost
“Hatteras has always been less consistent until very recently,” says Cahoon. “It’s a more limited season — a greater risk of storms — so it’s always been about, ‘What do I have to do to make it work economically?’ That creates a very individual community. It will be interesting to see what happens the next 20 years as things get a little easier.”
Make that much easier. While northern beaches spent the past three decades popping up carbon copies of “coastal designs,” Hatteras lagged in comparison, as everything from ORV issues to erosion to an aging Bonner Bridge made buyers and builders skeptical. Reverse those headwinds and you’ve got the beginnings of a veritable vernacular storm — but with Whalehead-sized money and a decidedly outsider mentality. As one local trim guy told us, “Because of the bridge and beach nourishment, big money is building again on H.I. I’m working part-time trimming a two-milliondollar house in Frisco. Been on it since May. No end in sight.” And they’re coming in armed with eyepopping ideas. Two of the most obvious outliers sit just a couple miles south of Chicamacomico’s historic stations. One’s just a plain-old, sky-blue beach box — but with what looks like a space telescope observatory towering beside it. Just down the road stands one that’s even more ambitious: a cedar-sided blend of stout boxes and broad angles, leading up to a wide flat roof, topped with a circular crown of shimmering glass windows and doors. Both are far from historic, if not fully futuristic. And both are the closest things to a space module we’ve seen in a while.
A century and a half later, those alien
designs from NC farms
and DC designers have not
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Are locals bristling? Maybe. Do the owners care? Probably not. And maybe that’s the real future of Outer Banks architecture: More risk. More exploration. More disruption. Because, the fact is, even if we save every piece of iconic history that remains, we’re still stuck with thousands more that are tragically unoriginal. Shingled? Sure. But safe. And, ultimately, soul-less. So, I say, bring the crazy. The weird. The alien. A house doesn’t have to look like a flying saucer — but it doesn’t not have to either. If it catches on, the design may start a whole new architectural movement. If it fails, it’ll stand out as one hell of an exclamation point in what has become one big run-on sentence of increasingly stale, wildly confused regional vernacular. Fifty years from now, we’ll be happy for either. Because for all our collective awing over historic appeal and classic consistency, the designs we love most — the styles that live on in our collective memories — all began as bold missions into fresh territory, and pushed the limits of our preconceived possibilities. “That’s the fun thing about the Outer Banks,” says Sandbeck.“You’ve got flat tops, you’ve got shingle style, you’ve got road-style tourist stuff. It’s kind of like a funhouse mirror: it’s real, but it isn’t — but is it?’ And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Ed. Note: All due credit and appreciation go to every person whose research and input were the foundation for this piece. To learn more about local and regional architecture, try Marimar McNaughton’s Outer Banks Architecture, Catherine Bishir’s North Carolina Architecture, or Google Penne Sandbeck’s 2003 “Currituck Banks, North Banks, and Roanoke Island Architectural Survey Report.” Even David Pinyerd’s Lighthouses and LifeSaving on the Oregon Coast is an enlightening reference. You can also read John Wilson’s Masters thesis, “Conservation of Place: The Outer Banks of North Carolina,” at the Outer Banks History Center.
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map to the future How one man’s college sketches helped preserve Downtown Manteo. In 1978, John Wilson was a grad student working on his master’s degree. By 1980, at age 27, he was Manteo’s mayor, with a plan to revitalize his beloved downtown by celebrating its historic structures. All this and his thesis was still unfinished.
Titled, “Conservation of Place: The Outer Banks of North Carolina,” the thesis is a passionate plea for maintaining Manteo’s historic character. Among the pages of architectural context and reasoned arguments are several pages of hand-drawn, almost whimsical, illustrations — including this double-page rendering of Roanoke Island’s most noteworthy buildings, along with notes on its treasured past. (It also features the first iteration of what would become the town’s official logo.)
Forty years later, his depiction remains surprisingly current, as all but one building still stands. (“The Meekins House was once on the corner of Budleigh and Wingina; now it’s a parking lot.”) More importantly, his rendering serves as a mix of time capsule and community compass, capturing a crucial point when Manteo decided to seize its future by saving its past.
“I don’t think I submitted it until 1981,” Wilson laughs today. “But doing the story of Manteo and how it developed architecturally is what inspired me to want to preserve our history.”
“Manteo’s certainly not the most historic town in coastal North Carolina by a long stretch,” says Wilson. “But that thesis helped me understand that what we had was a little bit important in 1978 — and it would be a lot more important in 2000. And my goodness, in 2050, Manteo will be an historic town, because we’ve preserved it.”
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HOUSE Boat-themed bookshelves. Brilliant fairy wings. Full-scale studio recordings. For three courageous artists and craftsmen, creativity begins at home â€”Â and lays the foundation for more fulfilling lives.
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Rock-in closet. Photo: Ryan Moser
D FOR OUND
Garage Band. Audacity. Traverso. Nowadays, every computer comes armed with some “home studio” software. But Scott Franson’s recording setup won’t fit on your laptop — it barely fits in his house. The living room furniture is a seven-piece drum kit. The dining room set’s a mix of cabinets and keys. And the cutting-edge gear for mixing and mastering the final product lives in — where else? — the “master bedroom,” where Franson can layer on any number of sounds with millisecond precision. “When I was a kid, I dreamed of getting into a recording studio someday,” says the lifelong musician and owner of The Ranch, a full-service, 32-track, digital audio production facility. “I never imagined the technology would allow me to live in one.” Better yet, Franson gets to make a living helping others record their dreams. In fact, just about every local artist has cut tracks, if not complete albums, in this onestory brick structure. (Zack Mexico, Sassagrass String Band, The Dune Billys, and Birddog, to name just a few.) Commercial products include both cable spots and Whalehead walking tours. He even recorded local voices for Warner Brothers to use on the film Nights in Rodanthe — right when the neighborhood was in a construction boom. “When the director came to record, I went over to ask [the construction workers] for their hours so that I could work around them,” Franson recalls. “But when I told them why I was asking, they were like, ‘That’s so cool, we’ll just shut down for that!’”
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And just like most remodels, the work is never really done. “Some parts are a couple of months old, others are ten years old,” he explains. “As soon as I buy one new thing, I have to replace another so that the pieces can talk to each other. Keeping up with the technology is constant.” And crucial. Not only do the digital updates keep his gear running smoothly, but they also allow him to send files across the globe — or share work with fellow local producers like former Snuff frontman Chuck Larson and hip-hop specialist Mic Journey. And now, Franson’s software can search through over 90,000 different tones to match any artist’s imagination. “One keyboard player had this nonorganic, specific sound in her head,” Franson recalls. “I asked her, ‘If you had to name the sound, what would you call it?’ She came up with three or four names, and in five minutes — boom — we had it.” Of course, it takes more than digital magic to make a proper studio. Franson keeps plenty of traditional handson instruments within easy reach. Play bluegrass? A brand-new mandolin hangs on the wall. Want vintage rock tone? The 50-year-old Fender Bassman will knock the bottom out of your bottom end. Even his collection of prize axes stand poised to strike — like a 1986 Paul Reed Smith that’s subbed in on more guitar solos than Franson can count.
“Often, people are recording their life’s work... Stuff that’s been in their heads for years.”
Of course, Franson’s digs weren’t always the Outer Banks’ answer to Electric Ladyland. When the Richmond native bought the onestory brick structure 20 years back, he just wanted a place to crash after gigs. As the late-night schedule started to get to him, he decided to turn his classically trained guitar skills onto the burgeoning OBX wedding business. But first, he needed a website. And his website had to play samples of his music. “That was when computers were just starting to be able to record,” says Franson. “I’d never used one before. But I learned. I started building my rig, and it just grew and grew and grew.” Today, Franson’s place houses more studio equipment than home furnishings. Open the linen closet, and there’s a tube amp where the towels should go. Another walk-in’s strictly for vocals — a Neumann U-87 microphone mounted to catch every whisper. Instead of art, Owens Corning 703 acoustic panels adorn the walls to control sound reflection and “keep the bass from gathering up in the corners.”
Whatever it takes to get the perfect sound. No matter who’s playing. In fact, some nights the jams go well into dawn. After all, there’s a couch to crash on. An icebox full of beer. Two bathrooms in case someone’s using one to pick out a fresh riff.
“Often, what I’m dealing with here is people who are recording their life’s work,” says Franson. “Stuff that’s been in their heads for 20 or 30 years. So it’s amazing to get them in here, do multiple takes, and then put it all together. My whole mantra is to provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. People that come here appreciate that it’s not so stuffy.” That same relaxed attitude keeps his live game kicking, as Franson does sound engineering for a range of local bands and venues like Bonzer Shack. He also performs solo gigs and jams out with Clarence “Moon” Munden. And, of course, he still plucks classical melodies for weddings all summer long. But ask where his heart is, and he’ll still say it’s at home. “People ask me, ‘When are you going to do what you really want to do?’” says Franson. “Well this is it. I get to make music in my house every day…And many times, I’ll walk out to get the mail an hour after a band has finished, and they’re still there in the driveway, listening to the stuff we recorded, jamming out and loving it. That feels good, man.” — Dave Holton milepost 41
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What brings Fairy Light Couture to life? A whole world of belief.
Heather Overton is washing glitter off her hands at the kitchen sink. A brightly colored bra, with its cups coated in shimmering color, sits on a nearby chair, drying. Decorative crystals and gems glisten across the table likes drops of dew.
“Creative chaos takes over,” Overton offers as an explanation. “I clean my studio once a week and then, within one hour, it’s back to this.”
harness with attached dragon wings. And a recurring theme of hand-cut leaves and feathers mounted like scales to bra cups, which Overton predicts will be popular this season. She calls it “fairy armor.” There are also costumes for unicorns, mermaids, dragon queens — any creature to channel one’s magical side. None of it stays in stock long. Just months after deciding to make Fairy Light Couture her bread and butter, Overton was selling out of inventory. She was even approached by several larger companies offering wholesale deals.
Everywhere you look, something is sparkling — including Overton’s smile. The designer’s quaint home is both happy place and work space for her costume boutique business, Fairy Light Couture.
“It was both terrifying and exhilarating,” she admits. “I had to seriously ground myself to reflect on the fact that I was choosing to make fairy wings for a living. The fantasy market is a very niche industry, so I knew that I had to completely commit. Once I stepped off that cliff, it was clear that I had made the right choice.”
“As children, my sister and I were always getting into our massively eclectic costume collection,” says the 27-yearold Nags Head native. “We would put on spontaneous backyard fashion shows with our mom. My imagination and gravitation toward fancy textiles just never went away — though it’s definitely evolved.”
While Halloween is a busy time, the bulk of her clients are in the festival and rave scene. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals with a psychedelic vibe take place all around the country — often in the desert — and fans want to show up dressed to impress and inspire. Last August, she got an Instagram request from one very high-profile participant.
Over the years, the whimsical tutus of girlhood gave way to “Hey girl, your stuff is amaze! Do you have any time to bedazzled, bustier style tops and accompanying fairy wings make something for me for Burning Man?” that accentuate and celebrate the female form. When Overton left It was the heiress herself, Paris home to travel everywhere from Hilton. The model and former Alaska to Thailand, she brought “It’s a very niche reality star — commonly referred her hobby of making fantasy to as the “Kim Kardashian of industry, so I knew that costumes with her. It began the early 2000s” — is now the to grow into a small, mobile I had to completely number-one female DJ in the business with the help of social world. commit.” media marketing and Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade “I absolutely freaked out,” says items. Overton. “I put my phone down, walked straight out the door, and “I would get commissions and I’d be making them in the went for a really long walk. I came back probably an hour or back of trucks, packaging things at a Starbucks, trying to get so later and calmly said, ‘Yeah, of course! What would you them shipped out,” she laughs. like?’” Last March, Overton moved home to commit to her dream of being a “full-time fairy artist.” The work soon consumed her life — and her space — but the heart of it is a single room filled with psychedelic-looking materials. Drawers labeled “sequins,” “feathers,” and “rhinestones.” Yards of iridescent fabrics. Her current favorite is called “vegan holographic leather,” which looks like a piece of silvery vinyl that got dipped in a rainbow. An entire length of wall is hung with an impressive inventory of bra tops, headdresses, and fairy wings — which are her best-selling, signature items. “Some pieces convey compassion, they’re lighthearted,” she explains, pointing to a purple top with an intricate butterfly wing applique. “Other pieces are a little more edgy.” She holds up one covered in what appear to be feathers cut from a metallic gold fabric. Den of iridescence. Photo: Chris Bickford
“This one is a Phoenix. You have to go through some crap before you can rise above the ashes!” There is a bustier entwined with green vines — inspired by a bout with poison ivy. Decorative chains forming a sort of
Overton ended up making 22 pieces, doing a little research on her celebrity client in the process. “I think she’s very much aware of her influence,” she says, admiringly. “She’s really trying to encourage women in the business field to be powerful and follow their passions.” While a passion for dressing up as fantasy characters might seem like escapism, Heather’s not trying to avoid our world — she’s trying to improve it. She seeks out environmentally friendly materials and uses her growing social media base to send positive messages like “believe in yourself” and “be kind to people no matter what.” Overton hopes the same sense of wonder and empowerment touches anyone that dons her one-of-a-kind creations. And that’s important work. “I think a lot of what helped my business to be successful was that it wasn’t just to make money, it was to do something authentic,” she says. “I’ve always heard that you’ll know what you’re meant to do because it will take over your life, and that’s exactly what happened.” — Hannah West milepost 43
MASTE of his CR
Nor’easter Designs blows the hatches off home décor.
Boat graveyards are some of the most depressing places on Earth. Drydocked, rotting, abandoned hulls ooze auras of dashed hopes, unforeseen calamities and unpaid debts. But amidst that bleak dereliction, Ken Savage finds glimmers of hope. Picker, visionary and craftsman, the 49-year-old Kill Devil Hills resident scavenges the boatyards of the mid-Atlantic coast with an eye toward possibility. In forgotten hatches, hulls, portholes, and keels, he sees future furniture and home décor. Savage brings it back to his late-model, modernized beach box and neatly sorts and stacks everything in a small garage studio. It might sit there for a few days or a few years before he decides what to do with it. “I never really know what I’m going to make out of it until I get it back to my workshop,” Savage says. “It’s a challenge to think how to build something around the pieces. It usually hits me in the middle of the night.” Savage never had any idea he’d be doing this kind of work. It started with a lone porthole he found while walking through a Delaware boatyard. He admired the piece, but as he walked away, his wife, Mandy, said, “You should take that and make something out of it.”
Not one to sit around between surf sessions, he got back in the woodshop. And suddenly, he had a whole new love. “It’s one my favorite things to do,” Savage says. “It’s therapeutic for me.” But it still felt like more of a time filler than a future business. Until he tried his first art show, the Hatteras Island Art & Craft Guild at Cape Hatteras School in Buxton. He took down 15 pieces — and came home with nothing. “The show opened at 9am and by 2pm I was sold out,” Savage says. “I thought, ‘OK, well, maybe people do like this stuff.’” He’s branded his work as Nor’ Easter Designs. Though you can find other furniture made of repurposed boat wood, Savage’s blend of nautical hardware and branded parts is 100 percent unique. Sawed-off bows and transoms become coffee tables or shelves. Sail scraps line the backs of entertainment centers, letting through light. A boat window and sailboat rigging become a cabinet. Bifold sailboat doors and aluminum screens become shelving. A 1950s boat door, anchor chain, and repurposed steel become a medicine cabinet. A sailboat rudder becomes a coffee table.
“I never feel totally at ease tearing a boat apart.”
That porthole became the centerpiece of a medicine cabinet, marking Savage’s first foray into furniture building since high school. He learned some of his carpentry skill from his grandfather and some in vocational school, where his parents sent him when it was clear he wasn’t cut out for deskwork. The cabinet shop looked more appealing than roofing and plumbing.
“An old guy ran the shop, Mr. Calloway,” says Savage. “I’ll always remember him. He said I was really good at it and could do something with it. But all I wanted to do was surf and hang out.” [laughs]
This carport builds cabinets. Photo: Chris Bickford
Instead, he did just about everything else over the years. He built houses and took courses in architectural engineering; worked as a draftsman designing homes and in his grandparents’ motel; he was a lifeguard in Bethany Beach, got his real estate license and his 50-ton master captain’s license; he commercial fished and invested in rental properties. He was doing well working for a top real estate agent in Delaware when he and Mandy felt the pull to move their two sons to the Outer Banks. Five years ago, Savage took a job as captain of Nags Head Ocean Rescue, a position that lasts from May to October — and leaves plenty of free time in winter.
“People are looking for that one feature, anything that is recognizable as part of a boat,” he says. “And everything is one-off. I call it functional, useable art.”
Almost all of the wood used in the furniture is recycled, too, but the real key is to include something recognizably nautical and salvaged. And that may be the most important talent of all. Scoring pieces takes a mix of pokerfaced negotiation skills, an eye for usefulness, and the physical labor of deconstruction. After getting an agreement from a yard owner, Savage brings in a generator, saws and tools and strips old boats of their hatches, keels, benches, hardware, windshields, sails, air vents, ropes, lights, rudders, and wood trim. As someone who loves old boats and admires their craftsmanship, he says, “I never feel totally at ease tearing a boat apart.” But knowing the parts will live on in a reinvigorated form, as well as bring someone joy, helps ease that pain — for Savage, at least. In fact, he loses more sleep over the pieces that he didn’t take and now wishes he could put to some new purpose. But not much longer. After the 2018 season, he’s decided to leave the ocean rescue service in order to give more dying boats a new lease on life. “Going full-time is a huge leap of faith,” Savage says, sifting through a box of antique boat lights that may one day illuminate a bookshelf or cabinet. “But I love it. And I’m going for it.” — Terri Mackleberry milepost 45
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Sneak-peeking David Alan Harvey’s most personal Outer Banks photo essay yet. Struggling Norfolk families circa 1966. Bubbly bikini babes bouncing around Ipanema Beach. Eighty-year-old Korean women in wetsuits, diving for abalone. David Alan Harvey’s captured them all over the past 50 years. And that’s just a small selection of his subject matter. As a long-time National Geographic staffer — and member of the elite, international photographer cooperative, Magnum — the 73-year-old Nags Head resident has covered just about every continent, culture and concept you can think of, always with his own distinctive approach. “My style is more personal,” says Harvey, who has won the National Press Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year award, among other accolades. “I like working in close.” His latest effort works in closer than ever. It’s for a collaborative project called “HOME,” where 16 Magnum shooters interpret the meaning and concept of home for a global exhibition and glossy 288-page photobook. For French photog Antoine D’Agata, “home” means revealing the underbelly of his beloved Marseille. For Alex Soth, it’s a chance to show off his Minneapolis stomping grounds. For Harvey — who’s photographed our barrier island since he was a VB teen, and produced several Outer Banks essays for Nat Geo over the years — it was a reason to tighten his focus even more. “I shot home literally,” says Harvey, who occupies a 1920s Nags Head beach cottage that was relocated near Jockey’s Ridge two decades ago. “Almost all the photos are within bike-riding distance of my front porch. But I’ve always hemmed myself in in some way. Even on assignment to some exotic place like Rio or Vietnam, you have to narrow things down. Give people a feeling. Tell them a story. This particular story is just one summer and the characters that happen to be in it.” Characters include housecats and trees. Family and friends. Piers and peers. Starting March 2, they’ll join an international cast of Peruvian fishermen, Norwegian breakfast tables, and who knows what else, for a 12-day exhibit at New York City’s Milk Gallery. By year’s end, international audiences in London, Paris, Tokyo, Cologne, Italy, and China will enjoy a highly personal glimpse of life on the Outer Banks. Or at least Harvey’s life. “It’s not intended to be all of anything,” says Harvey. “This is just my little version of the Outer Banks. Because you’re not telling all stories. You’re just telling a story.”
Ed. Note: For more on the HOME project, scheduled exhibits, and the accompanying photo book, go to www.home-magnum.com.
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“To be honest, I was
torn about which ‘home’ to shoot. I’ve had my place here for eight years. I’ve had an apartment in New York City even longer. But last year, I finally moved out of the city for good, so I decided my home was really here. All my stuff is here, anyway. [laughs] And my house is where I do a lot of my work. Right now, I’ve got two books I’m putting together. I tape pictures on the walls to get the sequence the way I want, so the place is covered with photos. This is in a bedroom upstairs. My assistant, Alejandra, came upstairs to get something and her reflection from the back window hit the front window, and I just started shooting. The shutter, the window, the light — it all seemed to say ‘home.’”
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“This is Frank Brown. Frank is one of these guys who gets up every morning and photographs the sunrise and says, ‘Praise Jesus’ with his dog, O.B. And if I go down to Nags Head Pier on any given morning, I’ll run into Frank. I can plan to meet him — but I don’t need to — because I know he’s going to be there. And that’s one thing I like about the Outer Banks community. It’s close — but it’s spread out in a line — so you can run into your friends if you want, or you can just disappear and make them find you. But if it wasn’t for Frank, I don’t think I could live here. When I travel, he takes care of my house, watches my cats, and just helps me maintain.”
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“Before I lived here, I would think nothing
of being in Corolla in the morning and Ocracoke in the afternoon. Now, I don’t know what it would take to make me go to either extreme. [laughs] I spend a lot of time right here — my front porch. That’s my longboard. One of my cats, Blackbeard. And right there at the end, that’s the hang spot for a good chunk of the year. That’s where all the friends gather. We sit down and watch the sun drop and drink beer, smoke and B.S. It’s really one of the key rooms in the house. And I do look at the porch as a room. It’s a separate room — an outdoor room — but a room, nonetheless. And that’s the way I think it is for just about everyone who lives here.“ milepost 51
“There are two
great photo essays I feel I could do down here. One is Jockey’s Ridge. All by itself. You can do landscapes. You can do people. Shoot snow. Shoot summer. You can make it look like there’s nobody — or you can make it look like there’s hundreds. You can do everything up on that dune. This is my son, Bryan, and my granddaughter, Lyla. We were coming down from watching the eclipse and everyone was pretty high on the whole experience, and just the color of Bryan’s umbrella and Lyla’s dress caught my eye. It wasn’t planned at all. But it’s not unusual for me to put friends and family in my photos. Because from the beginning, when I was on assignment, I’d bring someone along. I took my kids, my exwife, girlfriends, my mom and dad. So even when I was zipping around the world, I would bring home with me.”
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“The other great photo
essay to do would be piers. Because they all have their own unique personality. Avalon. Kitty Hawk. Rodanthe. Nags Head. This is Outer Banks Fishing Pier. We were at Fishheads for a little karaoke, and I saw this kid in the surf. He was jumping around the waves, really going for it, and I knew, if I could get him silhouetted against the whitewater, it’d be a good shot. Which is what I tell all my workshops: ‘Don’t see travel as the way to get good pictures. If you can’t get good pictures at home, you’re not going to get them in India.’ Because everybody’s backyard is special. And that’s another thing about the Outer Banks, even if you’re living in the tiniest, most rundown place, you’re just as rich as the guy living in a big house on the water. You’ve got the ocean, the sound, the beach — the piers. He might have a better view, but still, you’ve got it all.
Red foils give Tim wings. Photo: Julie Dreelin
THE NEW SENSATION Hydrofoils take the thrill of wave-riding to fresh heights. The first time Tim Nolte saw a video of someone riding a hydrofoil, he couldn’t imagine surfing one anywhere on the Outer Banks. The first time Nolte successfully rose out of the water — hovering over the surface at incredible speed — he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “The sensation is remarkable,” says the longtime local surfboard builder. “It’s like a pelican flying along the wave face — they’re using the wind off the wave. It’s kinda like that.” In 44 years of riding waves, Nolte’s done it all — shortboard, longboard, sailboard, kiteboard. Locally, he’s known as a top stand-up paddleboarder who pioneered local lineups with his cutting-edge designs. But, in the past year, hydrofoiling’s eclipsed all previous obsessions. “Last February a friend saw a video of it and milepost
sent it to me. He knew I was into anything new,” Nolte says. “I went to Costa Rica in March and got the gist of it. I still haven’t mastered it, but I’m pretty proficient.”
your body and keep you up?’ What people don’t realize is that every wave you surf has more energy beneath the surface. That wing grabs all that energy from under the water.”
Along the way, he’s begun building and selling the designs — everything from battleship-sized SUPs to sleeker, six-footsomethings. Compared to a standard surfboard, they all feel heavy. And look sort of clunky. It almost seems like they shouldn’t fly at all. But then again, neither does your average 757.
Best of all, the wings work great, even on knee-high wind chop. “What inspired me to do it is, when the waves are kind of gutless for surfing, you can go out and still have fun,” Nolte says. “It’ll go for blocks.”
That’s where the hydrofoil comes in. Instead of fins on the bottom, he mounts a mast with two wings — a smaller one in the rear and the larger one up front. Those wings are what catch the water and create lift to propel the surfboard anywhere from two to four feet above the wave. “You wouldn’t think it was possible,” Nolte says. “You look and think, ‘That’s gonna hold
Out in Hawaii — where the sport originated — legendary watermen like Laird Hamilton tackle huge waves and surf open-ocean swells for miles. In January, “ride everything” renaissance man Kai Lenny posted a Facebook video of him catching 11 straight waves inside of six minutes, pumping his hydrofoil around the lineup from one wave to the next. Every new post racks up hundreds of thousands of views. And each new click captures another new fan.
We Are The PArTy! “When you’re riding it, the weightless feeling, the quiet flow through the water — it’s just an addictive feeling,” says local surfer, SUPer and kiteboarder Billy Moseley, who’s been foiling for years. “You want to do it more. For me as a surfer, the hydrofoil creates the ultimate combination of glide, speed, and cool — ’cause that’s important,” he adds with a grin. The pros of hydrofoiling are obvious: Riding your board above the waves reduces drag, which increases speed, allowing you to ride tiny waves and in onshore conditions. For kiters, the wings cut through bumps on windy days to save your knees from taking a beating — and give experts like Hatteras’ Evan Netsch new ways to experiment.
They almost look like they shouldn’t fly at all. But then again, neither does a 757.
“It took a sport I knew for 15 years and totally changed it,” says the pro and instructor. “And it’s way harder than anyone anticipates. It’s like standing on an Indo board on top of your surfboard while you’re riding a wave.”
As for the cons? Start with the $1,700 price tag for quality gear. And the learning curve is super steep — literally. Once you start moving, the foil gradually lifts the board in the air. Get the front of the board too far out of the water and you’re going to stall — and crash and burn. “Boom! The nose will just drop and send you flying,” Nolte explains. Something he knows from it happening a time or two? “A hundred times,” he grumbles. You never know where the foil will end up after each fall. And the blades are “sharp as a machete,” Moseley says. Just paddling out and coming in is an issue, as sandbars are often shallower than the mast itself.
“People need to be careful,” Nolte explains. “If you get hit by that wing, you could get hurt. I try to stay clear and away from people — I don’t try to go out in the middle of the masses and do it.” Moseley calls hydrofoiling “the hardest thing I’ve ever learned how to do” because of the balance involved. And he still spends most of his time kite-foiling the sound. His favorite spot is behind Miller’s, where the water’s shallower and there’s a regular audience. “We’re all egomaniacs, whatever kind of surfer you are,” Moseley says with a laugh. “So, a place like Miller’s is a pretty good spot to do it — you got a restaurant full of people.” They’re all ready to gasp when someone pulls a cool trick — or guffaw whenever someone wipes out. And surfing’s purists are sure to be harsher. Beneath the Lenny video, when one commenter wondered how much hydrofoils cost, another replied, “all of your respect and dignity.” But, let’s face it, that same mob mentality comes out for every alternative design. And little by little, the same mob catches on to the same thing they once hated. So, after 37 years of riding it all, Moseley just laughs at the latest round of knee-jerk negativity.
Delivery & Set Up
“Surfers are a funny breed,” he says. “Windsurfing is not ‘real surfing,’ and standup paddleboarding? Oh my God, that’s nowhere NEAR real surfing! But the state of the sport right now is so exciting, because what people are riding is just changing by the minute.” For Nolte, chasing that change is what’s kept him engaged for 40-plus years, whether it’s pushing the performance level of longboards or pioneering SUPs. It’s never about what’s cool to the crowd. It’s about mastering every possible discipline. And staying stoked by staying challenged. “I’ve always been an innovator,” Nolte says. “I’ve always evolved. I’ve always tried the new thing. People are going to be negative about it, but this is going to change surfing. You’re going to be able to surf places you’ve never surfed before.” — Steve Hanf milepost 57
fooddrink Hoppa-palooza? Brewing Man? Craftchella? Coming up with a catchy festival title is never easy. Choosing one that covers ground from Corolla to Ocracoke — and flavors from beer to wine, rum to kombucha — is just plain impossible. That’s why Taste of the Beach didn’t bother trying to distill their newest event into just a couple syllables. Instead, they went with Mega Micro Libation Fest, a name that fully encapsulates the appeal of each elixir — and the massiveness of the undertaking — as they assemble every Outer Banks fermenter, brewer and distiller in one location for the first time ever. Not that they weren’t close already.
“Hippie chick seeks hoppy beer.” Meet your true brew love on Mar. 24. Photo: Julie Dreelin
“The brewing community here is super tight,” says Bart Kramlik, brewmaster for the event’s host location, the Outer Banks Brewing Station. “We’re always learning from each other and working together.”
On March 24, from 1-5pm, they’ll stand side-by-side, answering questions, serving samples, and sharing insights. For fans, it’s a rare chance to experience each beverage — and meet the colorful personalities behind every brand. Here’s a tiny sip of what to expect.
MORE THAN A MOUTHFUL roadmap
WEEPING RADISH, Grandy, NC When Uli Bennewitz opened NC’s first brewery in 1986, he insisted on following “the Reinheitsgebot” — a 500-year-old purity law stating that Bavarian beer use just four ingredients: hops, malt, yeast, and water. No additives, chemicals or preservatives. Thirty years later, Weeping Radish still specializes in traditional lagers, kölsches and more malty styles. “Hops are actually a preservative,” says brewmaster, Andy Tucker. “They were initially added so that beer could survive long voyages to India.” As folks demand increasingly “un-pure” beers like India Pale Ale, you’ll find some rising bitterness in Tucker’s Black Radish Ale — as well as a locally hopped IPA. But every style still gets made with the purest intentions. “I love brewing,” says Tucker, who holds a biology degree. “I love the pH’s, the enzymes and proteins, and manipulating them all with temperature.”
O.B. BREWING STATION, KDH, NC Warning: Bart Kramlik has a history of risky, beer-making behavior. “I started at home,” Kramlik laughs. “I hid my fermenter in my closet at my parent’s house.” He later worked at a brewery where the bosses had mafia ties. He soon went legit, including over eight years brewing at the Weeping Radish. In 2015, he came to Outer Banks Brewing Station, where he continues to push boundaries on a daily basis. “We actually partnered with our friends at Kill Devil Rum to produce this heavy hitter,” Kramlik says as he pours a glass of Elf Crusher Christmas Ale, which boasts 20 pounds of rum-soaked pecans per barrel. “My next plan is to brew a Saison, since I really want folks to experience super complex Belgian styles.” Both will be at Libation Fest — along with a Shenanigans Pale Ale, plus a couple more TBD thrill seekers — with the usual assortment of crowd-pleasers waiting on tap inside.
Taste of the Beach’s Mega Micro Libation Fest fits every fermented local flavor into one afternoon.
LOST COLONY BREWERY, Manteo, NC In 2011, Paul Charron began crafting Britishstyle ales in a 138-square-foot corner of a long-time favorite Manteo eatery, the Full Moon Café. Today, he works out of a 10,000-square-foot facility in Stumpy Point — and the restaurant’s changed names to Lost Colony Brewery & Café. But while his reach keeps expanding, his reasons remain the same: “I love drinking fresh beer.” Which is why all the styles are never more than a month old — from Stouts to Barley Wine to a malty, smoky, award-winning Kill Devil Scotch Ale. Look for some of these big flavors in March, plus regular favorites, like the Hatteras Red and the Kitty Hawk Blonde. Just don’t expect anything too nutty — or fruity. “I’m not into fruit, mushrooms or any other funky stuff,” he explains. “A good beer is like a pair of blue jeans — they never go out of style and should always be made with basic ingredients.”
KILL DEVIL RUM, Manteo, NC Few craft labels can rival the success of Outer Banks Distillers. Founded in 2015, Kill Devil Rum immediately began flying off ABC shelves all over NC — now their awardwinning hooch travels as far away as Florida. And, locally, folks literally line up to score everything they offer. “We currently offer six different types,” says co-owner Scott Smith, “including seasonal releases, like winter and summer spiced rums.” Unfortunately for fans, their latest three-year-aged rum, Blackbeard’s Reserve, won’t be ready ‘til fall, but some other prized barrel-aged styles may show up this March. So will Smith, which is good news for a thirsty crowd. “The Brew Station will definitely be pouring some sort of unique cocktail,” says the former ace bartender. “And we’ll also have samples of our Silver and Pecan rums, so it’s a great way for people to come see what we are working on firsthand.”
SANCTUARY VINEYARDS, Jarvisburg, NC Hate beer? Quit whining — and start wining. Currituck’s only “farm to fermenter” — Sanctuary Vineyards — will also be on-site serving a spectrum of vintages. They’ve also got gallons of history. Owner and GM John Wright grows and blends this Eastern NC favorite on 20 acres of land that his family’s farmed since the 1860’s — though the winery itself is slightly younger. “The vineyard has been around since 2001,” says Wright. “It’s taken every bit of the last 17 years for us to get where we are.” The hard work’s paid off with a loyal clientele and growing recognition — two golds and a silver at 2018’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. But John’s not one to dwell on his past. “These events are an opportunity to try something new and with a different approach,” John says. “Since we’ll be in a foodie scene, we plan on serving reds and whites on the more dry side.” Perhaps a 2015 vintage will make a debut.
For fans, it’s a rare chance to experience each beverage — and meet the colorful personalities behind every brand.
RAMBLIN ROOT KOMBUCHA, Manteo, NC Need a break from the booze? Don’t drink at all? Hop over to Ramblin’ Root for a sip of Kombucha — a fermented tea that functions as a probiotic and offers B vitamins and antioxidants. Like his beer buddies, Jason Schultz began brewing at home to save money. Now it’s a business model. In fact, he shares a factory with Lost Colony, pouring kombucha into jars and kegs, which fill local taps and stores all over the beach. “The lemon-ginger is a favorite, as is the blueberry,” says Jason. “My plan is to have three full-time flavors.” At press time, he was perfecting a cranberry-orange, with plans to pour all three from his ice-filled “jockey box” — the perfect way to chill out between cold ones.
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1718 BREWING, Ocracoke, NC What would Blackbeard drink? Something brave. Same goes for Ocracoke’s 1718 Brewing, as owner Garick Kalna constantly charges new variations — saisons, wheats, lagers, IPAS. Maybe because of his background. As a civil engineer, he was born to solve complex problems and build things differently. “It’s about the process,” Garick explains. “How you use the ingredients, the time, and exercising the creative and the technical.” Flavor fans are already frothing for everything that flows from his 10-barrel brew house, as he channels the island’s hearty heritage — and ingredients, including a hefeweizen that uses local figs and an oyster stout made with native bivalves. “Going forward, we would like to use local honey,” he says. “Even persimmons and kumquats.” For March, expect two bold styles: a hop-forward IPA and “Brunch” — their coffee Kolsch made with Ethiopian beans. NORTHERN OUTER BANKS BREWING, Corolla, NC Meet the new kids up the block — Corolla’s Outer Banks Brewing. Their 1000-square-foot space just opened last fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re lagging behind. In fact, they’re already canning in-house. And with a background in chemistry and microbiology, owner Mike Cherry clearly knows what he’s doing — without going over the top. “We enjoy making beer that is not overly bitter, tasty and drinkable,” Cherry explains. For the Libation Fest, they plan to bring an IPA and a Saison “which is very exciting since there are so many variations.” And he can’t wait until he gets to share some of his experiences with the community. “The process can be pretty non-social and monotonous,” he says. “The best part is turning people on to beer.” — Fran Marler
Ed. Note: The Mega Micro Libation Fest is a 21+ event. For pricing, tix and more details go to www.obxtasteofthebeach.com.
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[Buxton Village Books floorplan]
The building is vintage...the books are new. 47918 Highway 12, Buxton, NC 27920 (252) 995-4240 www.buxtonvillagebooks.com We ship!
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rearview On June 26, 2010, nearly 300 Outer Bankers took part in the first Hands Across the Sand to protest the BP disaster. This May we’re lining up to make sure future residents don’t suffer the same fate. Photo: Julie Dreelin
COME TOGETHER. RIGHT NOW.
Every year, Hands Across the Sand stands up against offshore drilling. On May 19, it’s more important than ever to join the fight.
When is a question not a question? When it’s an order. On January 4, the Department of Interior took its first real step toward issuing offshore drilling leases off of NC. And boy was it a doozy. The 2019-2024 Draft Proposal calls itself a “Plan for Unleashing America’s Offshore Oil and Potential,” and it includes almost the entire Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, up to three miles from shore — the largest proposed expansion in history. Even scarier, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management only scheduled one four-hour public hearing per state, almost all of them in inland cities. “It’s pretty clear this public input process is just for show,” says Ivy Ingram, co-chair of the Surfrider Foundation’s Outer Banks chapter. “They just cancelled the last lease sale in 2016 because of all the public outcry. So BOEM knows coastal residents and businesses don’t want it. They know it’s bad policy. They just want to drill. They don’t care about facts.”
Like the fact that coastal tourism and fishing already account for more jobs and revenue than petroleum’s promised haul. (Dare County’s visitation impact figures alone hit nearly $1.1 billion in 2016 — the third consecutive billiondollar season.) Or the fact that more than 160 coastal municipalities have passed resolutions opposing drilling. Or that every single governor on the East and West Coasts almost immediately demanded to be exempted — except three. (Alaska, Maine and Georgia.)
more than 160 coastal municipalities have passed resolutions opposing drilling.
Or how ’bout the fact that the DOI’s own press release promises “unprecedented access to America’s extensive
offshore oil and gas resources…to better compete with other oil-rich nations”? (Which sounds a lot like, “let’s put thousands of small, local, independent businesses at perpetual risk, so the planet’s richest multi-national corporations can keep turning record profits.”) But the fight’s not over. If you’re reading this before March 8, you can still submit a public comment. (Go to NotTheAnswerNC.org and DontDrillNC.org for stats, talking points, and links to the BOEM comment site.) And there are other, more visible ways to make a major statement. Start by joining Hands Across the Sand on May 19. It’s easy. Just go to HandsAcrossTheSand.org and find a participating beach access, then be there by 9:45am. At 10am, join hands with your neighbors and form a symbolic line in the stand — and stand up for our jobs, economy and way of life. “This administration obviously doesn’t want to hear any opposition from the public,” says Ingram. “So we’ll just have to show them instead.” — Anne T. Spyll
For more on the fight, follow www.dontdrillnc.org. And to follow the process — or submit electronic comments — go to www.boem.gov. Mail in comments to: Ms. Kelly Hammerle, National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program Manager, BOEM (VAM-LD), 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, Va., 20166-9216. Deadline for submitting is Mar. 8. milepost 61
OYSTER BAR & WINE BAR CAFÉ
Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Bar Café
PHOTO BY PIVOT VISUALS
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for shopping, dining, yoga… and Aw�so�e Sunsets!
DUCK, NC At the north end of the Duck Village Boardwalk CK DU ’S
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Celebrating 15 Years!
Our team would like to thank you and greatly appreciate that you have chosen us to service your vehicles for the past 15 years. In return for your business and referrals we pledge to continue to offer you the best service possible.
Words: Laura Gomez-Nichols Illustration: George Tsonev milepost 63
Upcoming Spring Events Elbert Watson Dance Ensemble Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. First Flight High School Kill Devil Hills, NC
Tshombe Selby An Afternoon of Spirituals and Arias Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. All Saints Episcopal Church Southern Shores, NC
East Carolina University Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Spring Celebration Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. All Saints Episcopal Church Southern Shores, NC
questionauthority upfront soundcheck getactive
Randy Hodges cranks out the metalwork for DCAC, Mar. 2-30.
Nothing says spring like swinging temps. And no place is ready like Roanoke Island Festival Park. Starting Mar. 2, you can stroll outdoors— if it’s warm. If it’s chilly, step inside for the annual Outer Banks Community Quilt Show, a vibrant patchwork of embroidery, appliqué, and other needlework that sticks around thru Mar. 17. (Special Vendor Day on Mar. 10.) And come back for a sizzling display of hot young talent when the Dare County Schools Art Show hangs Mar. 22-Apr. 29, with a closing day reception from 6-8pm. More at www.roanokeisland.com. • Keeping kids busy all summer is an art of its own. Luckily, Jennette’s Pier Summer Camps run the full spectrum of interests, with titles like Waterman’s Ocean Adventure, Outdoor Adventure, Surf ‘n’ Science, Nature & Art, Fishing — plus a new Green Teens camp collaboration with the NC Coastal Federation. Register online at www.jennettespier.net, starting Mar. 5. Then help less-fortunate families join the fun by supporting Apr. 22’s Taco Cook-Off at Ortega’z, 12-4pm, where proceeds fund camp scholarships. • Could be killing time is more of a science. In that case, try one of Coastal Studies Institute’s Summer Camps, mixing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concepts with fun, hands-on activities like snorkeling, kayaking and fishing — even collecting species and learning lab work. For kids 9-15; June 11-Aug. 10. Research and register at www.coastalstudiesinstitute.org. • Perhaps your kid would prefer to get lost in the woodwinds? Ascencion Music Academy Camps keeps wee ones fully tuned and entertained with weeklong lessons, from flute to guitar to piano and more. Get the complete score at www.ncmusicteachers.com. • Heavy metal is all the rage at Dare County Arts Council, thru Mar. 30, as blacksmith Randy Hodges drops his hammer of the gods on tools and hardware to create twisted scissors, lead zeppelins, and at least one iron maiden. Shiny details at www.darearts.org. • On Mar. 3, get your hands dirty — and help a local treasure shine — with Elizabethan Gardens’ Spring Fling Clean-Up Day. From 9am12pm, help volunteers and staff prep for the season. Just wear boots or old shoes, and bring your own gloves. Learn more at 252-473-3234. • Greasy fingers are back in fashion when Fried Chicken Night returns to Rundown Café every Mon., starting Mar. 5. And rabbit food reigns supreme each Thurs. with Vegetarian Tapas Night, beginning Mar. 8. Both start at 5pm and finish before Memorial Day. Tasty deets at www.rundowncafe.com. • Dare County Schools is so hungry for community input, they’re offering a smorgasbord of morning and evening forums: Manteo Middle School (Mar. 6, 6:30-7:30pm); Kitty Hawk Elementary (Mar. 7, 8-9am); Manteo Elementary (Mar. 14, 6:30-7:30pm); Cape Hatteras Elementary (Mar. 15, 8-9am); First Flight Middle (Mar. 19, 6:30-7:30pm); Kitty Hawk Elementary (Mar. 20, 6:30-7:30pm); Cape Hatteras Secondary (Mar. 22, 8-9am); First Flight Elementary (Mar. 27, 6:30-7:30pm); Nags Head Elementary (Mar. 28, 6:307:30pm); and Manteo High (Mar. 29, 8-9am). Educate yourself and RSVP at www.dare.k12.
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Tickets are $15 for each event, learn more & purchase tickets online by visiting bryanculturalseries.org Our endowment managed by the
nc.us. • Food insecurity’s no joke. Parents of students in need of assistance — and anyone 60+ — can contact the Beach Food Pantry for information regarding their Summer Food for Kids and Senior Box programs at 252-261-2756. • Thinking college? Better start stacking cash. Luckily, local organizations offer serious scholarship money for local seniors. Ask your guidance counselor what’s out there, get your applications in by Mar. 28, then come to the awards night on May 14 (Manteo High) or May 15 (First Flight High). Both start at 7pm. True to form, Cape Hatteras Secondary School has its own style, with a series of staggering deadlines extending into mid-Apr. — and a Senior Celebration and Scholarship Dinner, May 30. • Party animals double major in rocking and rolling, when College Spring Break infiltrates Mar. 3 to Mar. 18. Expect local clubs like the Brewing Station to provide the tools for success every Sat. night, with shows by Kiiind Collectives (Mar. 3), Groove Fetish (Mar. 10), and Big Mama Shakes St. Patty’s Party (Mar. 17.) For extra credit, come back Mar. 24 for a master class in advanced jamistry by Zack Mexico. Full sched at www.obbrewing.com. • “Party for a purpose” when the OBX Pirates Parrot Head Club turns Hurricane Mo’s into their own private Margaritaville, Mar. 6. Eat, drink and search for lost saltshakers — all while sharing ideas for supporting local charities and strengthening the community. Happens the first Tues. of every month, 6-8pm. Bring a food pantry item. Find ’em on Facebook. • On Mar. 8, geek out with your grom at Outer Banks Children @ Play Museum’s Science Thursdays, where brainy scientists present hands-on, interactive programs for future Einsteins. Explore www.childrenatplayobx.org for a complete calendar. • Starting Mar. 8, KDH Town Hall becomes a socially conscious time portal, when the Dare County League of Women’s Voters brings in Dr. Lin Logan for a four-part Women’s History Series, exploring the fairer sex’s fierce contributions to American life, from settling Jamestown to shattering glass ceilings. Follow-ups occur Mar. 22, Apr. 5 & Apr. 19. Open to the public. More at www.lwvdarenc.org. • Is the female of the species really more deadly? Find out Mar. 10, Apr. 14 & May 12 on the Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges’ Saturday Tram Tour. 9am-12pm. Reserve your seat by calling 252-216-9464, then bring $10 and hop aboard. (Unless you’re 12 or under — then just bring along a paying adult.) Or come back that evening for a Free Red Wolf Howling, where endangered canines sing sorrowful tunes: Mar. 10 (5:30-7pm); Apr. 14 (78:30pm); May 12 (7:30-9pm). And every Fri. morning, enjoy a free flocking Pea Island Bird Walk (8-9:30am) — or take your tyke to the Pre-School Young Naturalist Program for wildlife lessons and scientific strolls, 10-11am. Call 252-475-4180 for more information. • On Mar. 10, watch anxious brides fight to the death — or at least to the deposit — when the best local DJs, photogs, caterers, and flowers fill Duck’s Sanderling Resort for the Outer Banks Wedding Meet + Greet, 5-9pm. Get all the gory details at www.sanderling-resort. com. • Or go see the Emerald Isle’s best singing, music and dancing talents kick arse when Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts presents The Young Irelanders at First Flight High School, Mar. 10, 7:30pm. $28. $15 for students. Find tickets and details at www. outerbanksforum.org. • “Work it…own it...” Either way, you’ll want to participate in one of this year’s Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce Job Fairs, where future bosses and would-be employees strut their stuff in hopes of hooking up for the summer. There’s also sessions on interviewing and resume writing. This year features two stops: Corolla’s Richard A Brindley Sports Center, Mar. 10, and Nags Head’s Douglas A. Remaley Fire Station, Mar. 17. Both run 10am-2pm, and are free to all job seekers. Employers can reserve tables for both fairs for $100; or one fair for $75. Go to www.www.outerbankschamber.com for details. • On Mar. 11, local players show off hilarious hoops skills — and help local students — at the 3rd Annual Slam Dunks for Our Schools, where every dramatic layup, swish, air ball, and dribble benefits the Dare Education Foundation. 4-6pm. Tix are $5-$10. Learn more at www.dareeducationfoundation.org. • Death don’t have no mercy — but your neighbors do. On Mar. 12, Dare County’s On-Going Grief Support Group invites anyone who’s suffered a loss to share feelings of sorrow at the Baum Senior Center, 7-8:30pm. Come back the 2nd and 4th Mon. of each month. For details call 252-475-5057. And for a full calendar of community gatherings, check out www.obxcommongood.org. • Wanna help keep the planet
LIVE WATERFRONT MUSIC EVERY WEEK DINNER & DRINKS AVAILABLE AT WATERMEN’S BAR & GRILL
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endnotes from choking on litter? On Mar. 13, 12-2pm, NC Aquarium’s Plastic Bag & Film Collection takes clean and dry plastic film and plastic bags — shopping bags, bread bags, cereal box liners, dry cleaning bags. Just find the logo-ed station and drop them inside. (And come back Apr. 10.) More at www.ncaquariums.com. • Let wind power fuel your stoke, Mar.13-15, when Real Water Sports Zero to Hero Kite Camp stacks up back-to-back days of intense instruction. Then stick around for Mar. 16’s Watermen’s Bar & Grill St. Patrick’s Day Party, and blow some hot air about how hard you rip. Check in at www. realwatersports.com. • On Mar. 15, bask in the concept of Open Government with a Sunshine Week Workshop at Manteo’s Dare Center. Learn how to access public records, what constitutes an open meeting and more. 7pm. Questions? Call 252-305-7284. • From Mar. 16-18, Festival Park plays a seedy nightclub when Theatre of Dare presents Cabaret. Set in early-30s Berlin, during the rise of the Third Reich, this classic Broadway musical weaves song and dance — bawdiness and wit — into a timeless social commentary. Be sure to come back Mar. 23-25 for a ribald second round. Tix and times at www. theatreofdareobx.com. • Lose the fishnets and sport something green as the St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans go into full swing, Mar. 17. Start with 2pm’s Outer Banks Brewing Station’s One-Mile Beer Run, where 10oz. drafts take their toll every quarter-mile. (More at www.theobxrunningcompany.com.) Then chug south to Avon where the whole world comes together for Pangea Tavern’s St. Patty’s Party. More at www.pangeatavern.com. • Love heights? Hate spending money? Then Mar. 17 really is your lucky day, as Currituck Beach Light Station opens for the season with another Free Climb. Times and specs at www.currituckbeachlight.com. • Save your legs — and your liver — ’cause the 29th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns Mar. 18. At 1pm, line up between Bladen St. and Driftwood St. and watch a mile-long ensemble of marching bands, floating DJs, amplified pirate ships, and liquefied Shriners weave down the Beach Road wearing red, white, blue, and green. This year’s patriotic parade will also honor the memory of South Nags Head White Trash Grand Poobah Ernie Bridgers. Wanna march along — or just volunteer? Pick up an application at Mako’s Beach Bar and Grille. • Save your breath. No, seriously, if you’ve got COPD or another lung disease, join the Outer Banks Hospital’s Better Breathers Club on Mar. 19, 12-1pm, for tips and emotional support to make life better. Call 252-449-7300 to RSVP — then come back every third Mon. • Then get ready to inhale some serious food, Mar. 22-25, as Taste of the Beach serves up tapas crawls and cocktail parties, oyster shucks and tequila tastings, beer schools and photo workshops — plus three cornerstone competitions. On Mar. 23, 15 local restaurants take over The Pointe Golf Club — and take a swing at top honors for best pig and bird — at the 6th Annual Outer Banks BBQ & Wings Showdown, 12-3pm. Mar. 24’s 10th Annual Chowder Cook-off at Southern Shores Crossing Shopping Center sees a dozen chefs do battle in all manner of brothy bivalves, 12-2:30pm. And save room, ’cause Mar. 25’s 2018 Chefs Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash stuffs the Hilton Garden Inn with gleeful gourmands, as swashbuckling cooks cross knives in hopes of taking a coveted TOB’y Award. Delicious deets at www.obxtasteofthebeach.com. • Enjoy a decadent dessert of lithe, limber legwork when Bryan Cultural Series presents the Elbert Watson Dance Ensemble — your chance to soak up the skills of a former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The State Opera Ballet Company of Kassel, Germany right here at First Flight High. 4pm. More at www.bryanculturalseries.org. • You call that talent? Try cycling and jogging at the same time when Mar. 25’s Outer Banks Duathlon does its Run Bike Run all over The Whalehead. Multi-tasking not your thing? Wait a week for Manteo’s 4th Annual Hoppin’ 8k, 5 & 1 Mile Fun Run, on Mar. 31. Go to www.theobxrunningcompany.com for more • Scare yourself skinny when Ghosts of The Lost Colony returns, Mar. 26-Apr. 7, Mon.-Sat. This Astral Plane Investigations team leads groups on a super thrilling, often funny, always entertaining hour-long tour of Fort Raleigh Park and the Waterside Theatre, channeling paranormal activity to retell our region’s favorite unsolved mystery. 8pm. Tix and details at www.thelostcolony.org. • Get ready to pitch a tent, nature lovers! On Mar. 30, Cape Hatteras National Seashore opens all four
May 11th thru 13th Mama loves dogs! This Mother’s Day weekend, head over to The Soundside for two poochfriendly events. Woofstock moves to the beach this year and is joined by the “Outer Banks Spring Splash,” featuring Dock Dogs and a 25,000-gallon competition pool. Bring your furry best friend and get ready for good times. Woof-woof!
Join us for the ﬁrst-
ever Outer Banks Food Truck Showdown. The
toe-tapping good time as food trucks, breweries and local performers show off their stuff at the
Soundside event site. Keep on truckin’!
The Outer Banks
event is guaranteed to be a tummy-tempting,
Food Truck JUNE Showdown 3rd
LIVE HARDWOOD GRILLED STEAKS AND SEAFOOD campgrounds: Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, Frisco, and Ocracoke. Stake your claim at www.nps. gov. • On Mar. 30-31, post up at Jockey’s Ridge for Kitty Hawk Kites’s Flying into Spring, a colorful, double celebration of National Kite Month and Easter Eggstravaganza. Above, kites seize the wind; below, kids hunt for eggs — and take Easter Bunny selfies — all to usher in an exciting new season. More at www.kittyhawk.com. • Keep searching for colored bird droppings at Elizabethan Gardens’ Easter Eggstravaganza, Mar. 31. This longtime favorite features an extra-large egg scavenger hunt and egg roll on the Great Lawn — plus a homemade bake sale, story time, educational crafts, and an Easter bonnet and hat contest. 10am opening time. For pricing and details, call 252-473-3234. • Why should kids have all the fun? On Mar. 31, head down to Pangea Tavern’s Hoppy Easter, where juvenile eggsplorations segue into an Adult Beer Hunt for crafty beer cans scattered throughout Kavon Park. Cold, hard facts at www.koruvillage.com. • After 23 years, only a fool would miss Apr. 1’s opening for Glenn Eure’s Art of the Self-Portrait, where local talents fill the Ghost Fleet Gallery with revealing — and often self-deprecating — depictions of themselves. 2-4pm. Show runs thru May 10. More at www.glenneureart.com. • Lost arts return to life, Apr. 5, when the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station hosts 2018’s first beach apparatus drill of 2018 at 2pm. Plus, from 12-1pm, Dixie Browning will be on hand to sign her book, The Warfield Bride, an historical novel set at an 1800s station. And at 5pm, enjoy a chicken BBQ dinner at the RWS Community Building. Check out www.chicamcomico.org for more. • Few local traditions are more fun than Downtown Manteo’s First Friday, where later shopping and live music kick off the weekend — along with Dare County Arts Council’s opening receptions for new exhibits. On Apr. 6, from 6-8pm, get first look at the month-long collaboration with KDH Cooperative, starring works by Holly Nettles, Stephanie Kiker, Rob Snyder, and 24 more top talents. Find a full list here: www.kdhcoop.com. • Meanwhile, right next door, Duck’s Cottage Downtown Books hosts Apr. 6’s Lost in the Beehive Book Launch Party for nationally acclaimed local author, Michele Young-Stone. Show up for the book signing, then stick around for a 7pm reading and a champagne toast. Get all the latest buzz at www.duckscottagedowntownbooks.com. • Think literature’s deep? Check out Apr. 7’s 5th Annual Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum Underwater Heritage Symposium. From 9am-4:30pm, professional divers and underwater archaeologists team up to offer presentations on diving experiences, undersea photography, U-boats, and shipwrecks. Sound like a cool job? Come back for Apr. 10’s Salty Dawgs Lecture on “Underwater Archaeology — Careers, NC Maritime Sites, and NC Shipwrecks.” And on Apr. 24, CSI’s Nathan Richards reveals the truth behind Rodanthe’s Pappy’s Lane Wreck. Both are 2-3pm. Visit www.graveyardoftheatlantic.com for monthly listings. • Take a walk on the dry side, Apr. 10, when Town of Duck brings back its Nature on the Boardwalk series for an informative evening stroll with a wildlife biologist, 6:30-8pm. Call Flying into Spring floats a fertile flock of fabric over Jockey’s Ridge, Mar. 30-31. Photo: Daniel Pullen
Award winning wine list • Great kids menu OPE N I NG F OR T H E SE A S ON M A RC H 2 8
APRIL 1 Reservations reccommended
THURSDAYS through the spring
SUNDAYS 50% off any bottle of wine all day and night
Timbuck II Shopping Village in Corolla grillroomobx.com • 252-453-4336
marcus king band Of Good Nature Fireside Collective porch 40 Sensi Trails
MAY 20, 2018 MIKE DIANNA’S GRILL ROOM
TIMBUCK II SHOPPING VILLAGE COROLLA, NC
MUSTANGMUSICFESTIVAL.COM Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and Mustang Outreach Program
endnotes Just roll over to Bodie Island Lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Both open for 252-255-1234 to save your spot, then come back Apr. 25 (9-10:30am), May 8 (6:30-8pm), climbing on Apr. 20. With 200+ steps, you’ll definitely feel the burn. More at www.nps.gov. • and May 23 (9-10:30am). And be sure to step inside Town Hall before Apr. 25 to see “Capturing the Skies of the Outer Banks,” Oil Paintings by Catherine Hamill. Or come Soaring supplies come super cheap down south, Apr. 20-21, as Real Watersports Swap back May 5, 3-5pm, and score the opening reception for Fred Vallade’s “Full Circle.” More Meet draws seasoned boardriders to trade and sell used gear. Kick the tires at www. realwatersports.com. • Let Theatre of Dare lighten up your at www.townofduck.com. • And for a real freak of nature, tax season when they present Love, Sex, and the I.R.S., a be at the Brew Pub, Apr. 8, to see self-proclaimed Feel the burn this 4/20, when NPS opens Bodie Island and conservative “culture warrior” — and Misfits alum — hilarious farce in which struggling musicians get hitched to Cape Hatteras lighthouses to climbing. Photo: Daniel Pullen Michael Graves’ Beginning of the End Tour. Or wait ’til save a buck — only to pay majorly when their loved ones Apr. 14, when local faves, Fujiawara, get the room spinning find out. Hits Festival Park’s Indoor Stage, Apr. 20-22, 27 with a liberal dose of good-old fashioned, superfast, punk & 29. Get tix and times at www.theatreofdareobx.com. • rock. Hit www.obbrewing.com for the latest spin. • On Apr. And if taxes don’t chap you, we know what will: Outer 12, learn about capital issues when the Outer Banks Banks Bike Week! From Apr. 20-29, strap on the assless Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit hosts Gov. leather, bitch up your ride, and hit the road for an Roy Cooper for “The State of the State: Economic exhausting ten days of poker runs, tattoo and bikini shows, Outlook and the Governor’s Vision for the State of heavy metal bands, and every color of doo-rag. For more, North Carolina,” followed by an update from NCDOT’s motor over to www.outerbankshd.com. • On Apr. 21, fourJerry Jennings on the Bonner Bridge, Mid-Currituck wheel-drive enthusiasts stomp out litter down south for Bridge, Hatteras Jug Handle, and more. 8-10am. $25 for NCBBA’s Operation Beach Respect. From 8am-12pm, members; $50 for others. Sign up at www. clean up any access ramp on Hatteras and Ocracoke, then outerbankschamber.com. • Don’t sweat over money — head to Rodanthe Waves Salvo Community Center for a sweat over miles — as the First Flight 5k and Flying 12pm picnic and 1pm board meeting. (Topics will surely Pirate Half Marathon returns Apr. 14–15. More at www.obxse.org. • Then old folks rule, include Apr. 28-29’s 4Plus 4WD Fishing Tournament and May 2-4’s Ocracoke Apr. 16-17, when the 30th Anniversary Outer Banks Senior Games dominates local Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament.) Latest deets at www.ncbba.org. • Get hooked on a tracks, fields, courts, and roads, with events from running to cycling, tennis to pickleball, new novel — and support local reading programs — when the Dare Literacy Council Book bocce to basketball. Register online before Mar. 9 at torch.ncseniorgames.org. Or call the Sale comes to KDH Rec Park, Apr. 21 (9am-3pm) & Sun. Apr. 22 (12-4pm.) Find fiction, Baum Center at 252-475-5638 for details and assistance. • Wanna get super high this 4-20? non-fiction, instructionals, audiobooks, videos, LPs, and more. Wanna help the cause?
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“The Garden... graphiccontent where Relief blossoms ” gosurf Saturday, May 12, 2018
outthere 11 am - 3 pm duck Woods Country Club
Includes: luncheon, beverages, silent auction, and fashion show
All proceeds benefit the Outer Banks Relief Foundation | outerbanksrelieffoundation.com | 252-261-2004 For details and info on tickets visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/outerbanksrelieffoundation
Volunteer to sort and set up — or just drop your library leftovers at any of the locations. Deets at www.dareliteracy.org. • Bag your limit of wooden birds, Apr. 21, when the new Ocracoke Island Decoy Carvers Guild’s First Annual Ocracoke Island Waterfowl Festival combines classic decoys, killer carving demos, firing raffles and tastebud-blasting food. Hunt for fresh deets on Facebook. • Love your mother — while dunking your brother — when Apr. 22’s OBX CARES Earth Day Event fills the Brew Pub’s backyard with a crunchy compost of environmental groups and animal rescue organizations for fun, games, learning opportunities, and live music. 3-7pm. More at www.obbrewing. com. • At 4pm, sneak up to Southern Shores All Saints Episcopal Church for the Bryan Cultural Series’ musical enlightenment, as opera sensation Tshombe Selby delivers An Afternoon of Spirituals and Arias on Apr. 22. Full score at www.bryanculturalseries.org. • Got a cool program that makes local life better? Apply for the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Community Enrichment Grants Program by Apr. 27. Areas of interest include: arts & culture; animal welfare; children & youth; education; the environment; disaster relief & prevention; health; historic interpretation & preservation; and other human services. Review the criteria online at www.obcf. org, then call 252-261-8839 to discuss projects before applying. • On Apr. 28, bathe your ears in classical music — and soak your bod in glorious sunshine — when Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts brings The Virginia Symphony to Roanoke Island Festival Park at 3pm. Nasty weather? No worries. First Flight High’s got their back-up location. Score tix at www.outerbanksforum.org. • Drown your taste buds in fine vintages and haute cuisine when Apr. 28’s 10th Annual Duck and Wine Festival fills the Waterfront Shops’ boardwalk with the best local chefs — all to support the CurrituckDare Community Foundation’s great local causes. 12-3pm. More at www.duckandwine. com. • Or just cheer your lungs out when Dare County Special Olympics Spring Games
return to First Flight High, Apr. 28, 10am-2pm. Gates open at 9:30am so fans can come fill the stands. Besides track and field, there’s food, raffles, children’s games, and live music by the Dare2Care OBX Shredders. Totally free. Totally fun. Get the latest updates on Facebook. • On May 4, come see the North Shore’s craziest screamers when Real Watersports hosts O’Neill’s “Wave of the Winter” Party. Watch insane clips from the past Hawaiian season with local Surfline weather nerds and gnarly chargers like Brett “Danger is my Business” Barley. Times and details at www.realwatersports.com. • Save people’s teeth by doing shots of tequila as Rooster’s Southern Kitchen’s May 4 “Spirits for Giving” helps A Reason to Smile. 6-8pm. $25. For monthly updates visit www.roosterssouthernkitchen.com. • Grinning groms overpower Jennette’s Pier, May 4-6, when the Eastern Surfing Association’s Mid-Atlantic Regionals draw top amateur rippers to face-off for a shot at trophies and glory. More at www.surfesa.org. • Downtown Manteo lives la vida loca, May 4, as the Dare County Arts Council and Mano al Hermano team up for a Latin-flavored First Friday — including a 6-8pm opening reception for award-winning Durham-based artist, Cornelio Campos. And come back May 6 as the 21st Annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show lines up local talents all the way to May 30. Aprendes mas a www.darearts.org. • Holy Sabado! It’s Cinco De Mayo! Keep the fiesta going, May 5, as Outer Banks Taco Bar offers $2 Coronas y Modelos and a heap of spicy specials. (PS: Keep an eye out for an OBTB Ramen Night.) More at www.obxtacobar.com. • From 4-8pm, lose the loco sombrero, grab your fanciest brim, and watch the big race, when May 5’s Kentucky Derby Party fills Elizabethan Gardens with mint juleps, live and silent auctions, hat contests, and live music. Funds keep the grounds fertile and support Beach Food Pantry and Dare Education Foundation. For tix, call 252-473-3234. • On May 5, race to First Flight High for Outer Banks Relay for Life, where local teams do laps to raise funds
ruins more than just your vacation.
endnotes distance — and then some — when Kitty Hawk Kites hosts the 46th Annual Hang for the American Cancer Society. Get the latest updates on Facebook. • On May 5, enjoy Gliding Spectacular and Air Show. Join professional pilots, fans and families at Jockey’s a dizzying display of strings and piano when Southern Shores’ All Saints Episcopal Church Ridge for daily competitions — and stunning displays — at the world’s longest running hang hosts East Carolina University’s Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival. 7pm. Highs and gliding contest. Complete deets at www.hangglidingspectacular.com. • Dig plants? Don’t lows at www.bryanculturalseries.com. • Take a quiet moment to reflect — and respect the miss May 19’s 16th Annual Coastal Gardening Festival, where 60+ vendors fill KDH’s sacrifices of foreign sailors who gave their lives protecting our coast during WWII — when Baum Center with flowers and plants, garden art, and handcrafted goods. Proceeds benefit the 76th Anniversary British War Grave Ceremonies take place in Buxton (May 10) and the outreach programs of the Dare County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. This Ocracoke (May 11). Both at 11am. The ceremonies honor the 63 foreign sailors who lost their lives just off the Outer Banks; officers place wreaths at the graves and local citizens read year’s “Never Enough Thyme!” theme focuses on herbs and their many uses. 9:30am2:30pm. For more info, call 252-255-2049. • The the names of the dead. • And the Graveyard of Waterfront Shops bloom with color and the Atlantic Museum’s Salty Dawgs Lecture creativity, May 19, as the Duck and Beyond Art Series stacks up historic efforts all month long. On Show draws a full range of fertile fine artists and May 8, learn the unique story of America’s first photogs, such as Dawn Moraga, Travis Fowler, black lifesaving keeper, Richard Etheridge and his Pete Erickson, and John Jones. 10am-3pm. Rain crew with “Freedmen, Surfmen, Heroes.” May date of May 20. Brush up on details at www. 15 digs up the “The Wreck of Mountaineer” — waterfrontshopsduck.com. • And the Soundside aka “the Wink’s Wreck.” May 22’s “An Event Site erupts with energy when Dare2Care Abundance of Vision” details W. O. Saunders’ OBX Shredfest returns, May 19. From 2-8:30pm, impact on Outer Banks evolution from remote enjoy live local music in a range of styles while outpost to 20th century vacation destination. For BMXers, skaters, derby girls, and other action more, visit www.graveyardoftheatlantic.com. • On sports athletes hit the half-pipe — plus a new May 10, discover visitation tools for the new Ladies Only Sk8 and a Grom Grind for the next millennium, when the 6th OBX Tourism gen of shredders. More at www.dare2careobx. Summit descends on Avon’s Koru Beach Klub. com. • And Sunday, May 20, Corolla kicks donkey The annual Outer Banks Visitors Bureau event when Mustang Spring Jam 7 brings a herd of gathers Dare County travel-related businesses and musical styles to Mike Dianna’s Grill Room, other nature pimps for a day of networking, including: blues ingenuity by the Marcus King education and straight-up hustlin’. Register at www. Band; reggae-rockers, Of Good Nature; progouterbanks.org. • Forget kissing ass — let’s go sniff Ameri-folkers, Fireside Collective; southern some butts! On May 11-13, Dog Days of Spring funkers, Porch 40; and local soldiers of Jah, brings both Dock Dogs and Woofstock to Nags SensiTrails. 1-10pm. A portion of the proceeds Head’s Soundside event site to create three days benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and of splashing schnauzers, barking boxers, parading Mustang Outreach Program. Tix and deets at poodles, and piles of Shih Tzus. Fetch more info www.mustangmusicfestival.com. • Come May 25, at www.outerbanks.org. • On May 11, let your it’s the Greatest Show on Earth — or at least on human puppy go leashless when the Children & Roanoke Island — as the 81st season of the Lost Youth Partnership’s 11th Annual KidsFest Colony lights up the Waterside Theatre with returns to Festival Park. From 9:30am-12:30pm, weekly runs, Mon.-Fri, thru Aug. 22. For tix and info enjoy arts and crafts, face painting and photo — including backstage tours and other sideshows booths, ice cream and snowballs. It’s also the one — go to www.thelostcolony.org. • Or just go so see time in your life you’ll be thrilled to see your child some big f’n lizards when Dinosaurs! brings fullin a cop car. See www.townofmanteo.com for scale, animatronic T-Rexes and other ancient more. • Imaginations run wild, May 12, when the On May 19, the Waterfront Shops’ Duck and Beyond Art Show draws a colorful tangle of reptiles to NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, 29th Annual Artrageous Kids Art Festival fires crazy-good talent and eye-popping pieces, such as Carolina Coto’s “Spring Hair.” May 26-Sept. 4. Dig up the latest dirt at www. up Nags Head’s Dowdy Park, with every type of ncaquariums.com. • Start your summer by racing to the beach this Memorial Day when the creative activity — sculpting, painting, singing, and dancing — and all the green benefits Annual Shore Break 5K & Tide Pool Fun Run comes to Avon, May 28. This annual favorite DCAC programming and scholarships. 10am-3pm. Colorful details at www.darearts.org. winds across wooden bridges, boardwalks and walkways, before finishing up on the sand. All • On May 12, local ladies model the latest offerings from 11 local boutiques, when Couture proceeds get directly deposited in the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund. Register By The Shore supports the Outer Banks Relief Foundation by matching fashion with now at www.hatterasyouth.com. • Or boost into the high season when the world’s best pro fundraising. $45 includes luncheon and adult bevvies. This year’s theme is “Garden Party,” so kiteboarders do sick tricks behind Real Watersports for the Wind Voyager Triple S grab your hoes and head over to Duck Woods Country Club, 11am-4pm. More at www. Open & Invitational — landing in Hatteras Island, June 1-8. And the rhythms are pure outerbanksrelieffoundation.com. • On May 13, step off the catwalk and into the trees, as the 35th Annual Nags Head Woods 5k returns for a mad dash through the forest — and a fun, liquid gold, green and red when reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley (aka Bob Marley’s son) rastafies the party on June 4. Give thanks and praises at www.realwatersports.com. • And family way to kick off your Mother’s Day. Race to www.nagsheadwoods5krun.org for the finally, keep the good times rolling — and the taste buds rocking — when June 3’s latest. • The marlin better start running, May 15-19, when the 24th Annual Hatteras Soundside Events Food Truck Showdown shifts into gear with a high-octane mix of Village Open reels in big charter boats to open the North Carolina Governor’s Cup Series. Get hooked at www.hatterasonmymind.com. • From May 17-20, flexible wings go the mobile kitchens, custom beers, and live music. More at www.soundsideevents.com.
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Lunch &Dinner s p eC ia ls
Spring Fever Great Selection
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D r iN ks & a p ps
World Famous Fish taCos Milepost 9.5 • Highway 158 in KDH • 252.441.7889 • MamaKwans.com
Lunch: 11:30 am • Dinner: 4:00 pm • Tiki Bar: 11:30 am – Until • Call for Closing Times!
Lunch & Dinner FOOd & dRINk SpEcIaLS daILy! Sunday: $1 Off Bushwackers
w/ Vintage Quags Cup! Burgers • Seafood • Wings Surf Snacks • And More!
LuNcH SpEcIaLS EvERy day!
MP9 on the Beach Rd. • KDH • BonzerShack.com • 252.480.1010
Earth Day, EvEry Day.
In April 2008, the Outer Banks Brewing Station dedicated their new wind turbine with an Earth Day celebration. Ten years later, Americaâ€™s first wind-powered brewery continues to handcraft beers using green energy â€” while fueling a range of environmental campaigns and education efforts to keep our community and planet cleaner and healthier.
Come in to learn more about our new
campaign to reduce plastic litter.