36.0143° N, 5.6044° W 35.6971° N, 0.6308° W 36.4517° N, 28.2252° E 36.2021° N, 37.1343° E 36.3566° N, 43.1640° E 36.5839° N, 100.4954° E 35.8390° N, 127.1255° E 35.6655° N, 139.7707°
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What’s gokite going milepost on with that graphiccontent weird-ass cover? gosurf Funny you should ask. It’s not a close-up of dripping paint, or trippy resin art. It’s actually two photos shot worlds apart — at least physically. Then turned on their heads, metaphorically. But lined up across the Atlantic — literally.
To the left, is a shot of a breaking wave at Avalon Pier — coordinates, 36.0442° N, 75.6745° W. To the right, a beach called Las Lances, near the Spanish City of Tarifa — coordinates 36.0352° N, 5.6235° W. In other words, these rifling sandbars may be separated by 3,831 miles of Atlantic Ocean, but are barely 600 yards apart, north to south.
Of course, I never realized this until this summer, when I visited a close friend in the town of nearby Zahora. Standing in the shorebreak the very first day, he pointed to the horizon and said, “Wave to your friends, mate. That’s your home.” I nearly couldn’t grasp the concept. It all seemed so surreal. Familiar in many ways — yet alien in so many others. Oh, the sea was easy. There were tiny waves. Sun-flecked peaks. An occasional sailboat.
Some places have sister cities — we have sister sandbars. Photos: Ben Gallop (left) and Bob Hovey
The mirror image of the Outer Banks in August. Behind me, back on shore, lay the real culture shock. Not the miles of jutting coastline — but the mounds of naked bodies. Man and woman. Young and old. Big and small. In every type of scenario, from lying on towels to wrestling beach chairs.
“Wave to your friends, mate. That’s your home.”
Surrounded by T&A of every topography, I couldn’t help but wonder: what would my neighbors do? Would they stare at the cute girls scanning for shells? Would they giggle at the two dudes playing Kadima, balls bouncing with every swing? Would they help that old couple chase their umbrella? Or run screaming at the sight of two seniors soaking up rays? Eventually, I decided they’d probably sit down and crack a beer. So, I did too. And with each passing minute and mundane scenario, all that
“brand new” became the new normal. By the afternoon, I barely glanced at the hottest piece of skin streaking past. And so it went for the entire trip, as every fresh experience gave way to something familiar. In Conil, I roamed a thousand-yearold fortress full of Moorish influence — and found an art gallery dedicated to maritime history. In Seville, I watched flamenco dancers put a packed bar on its feet — then stayed for hours talking beer with French strangers. And in Tangiers, I watched two men in fezzes peel shrimp with such lightspeed dexterity, you could’ve beamed ’em to Wanchese — or vice-versa — and nobody would’ve known the difference. Of course, there were also butcher shops with camel heads and the 5am call to prayer. But a barbecue is still a barbecue. A morning service is still a morning service. Just as a sunbather is a sunbather is a sunbather. And while we may travel the globe to discover strange worlds, with time, any faraway place can feel like a short walk — provided you’re willing to forget your boundaries and close the distance. — 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: cut out paper fig leaves for your next European vacation; create a makeshift burkini for your next Spanish mackerel. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise to find some way to re-purpose them.
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“There are certain places on the surface of the earth that possess more magic than others.” — Paul Bowles “Remember: it’s bad luck to be superstitious.” — Glenn Eure
Issue 7.4 Winter 2018/19 Cover: Longitudinal Latitudes. Photo: Ben Gallop and Bob Hovey Reader You Brushes & Ink Carnell Boyle, John Butler, George Cheeseman, Marcia Cline, Carolina Coto, Michael J. Davis, Fay Davis Edwards, Mary Edwards, Laine Edwards, Marc Felton, Travis Fowler, Dawn Gray, Amelia Kasten, Chris Kemp, Nathan Lawrenson, Dave Lekens, Alex Lex, Ben Miller, Ben Morris, Holly Nettles, Rick Nilson, Holly Overton, Stuart Parks II, Charlotte Quinn, Meg Rubino, Shirley Ruff, Kenneth Templeton, Stephen Templeton, George Tsonev, Bri Vuyovich, John Wilson, Mike Zafra Lensfolk Nate Appel, Matt Artz, Chris Bickford, Russell Blackwood, Don Bower, Aycock Brown, Mark Buckler, Jon Carter, Rich Coleman, Kim Cowen, Chris Creighton, Amy Dixon, Lori Douglas, Julie Dreelin, Tom Dugan/ESM, Roy Edlund, Bryan Elkus, Ben Gallop, Cory Godwin, Chris Hannant, Bryan Harvey, David Alan Harvey, Ginger Harvey, Bob Hovey, Jenni Koontz, Anthony Leone, Jeff Lewis, Jared Lloyd, Matt Lusk, Ray Matthews, Brooke Mayo, Mickey McCarthy, Roger Meekins, Richard L. Miller, Dick Meseroll/ESM, David Molnar, Ryan Moser, Elizabeth Neal, Rob Nelson, Candace Owens, Crystal Polston, Daniel Pullen, Ryan Rhodes, Terry Rowell, Tom Sloate, Wes Snyder, DJ Struntz, Aimee Thibodeau, Eve Turek, Chris Updegrave, Cyrus Welch, Jay Wickens Penfolk Ashley Bahen, Sarah Downing, Laura Gomez-Nichols, Jim Gould, Steve Hanf, Dave Holton, Sarah Hyde, Catherine Kozak, Katrina Leuzinger, Dan Lewis, Terri Mackleberry, Fran Marler, Matt Pruett, Mary Ellen Riddle, Corinne Saunders, Sandy Semans, Shannon Sutton, Kip Tabb, Joseph Terrell, Hannah West, Clumpy White, Bronwyn Williams, Natalie Wolfe, Michele Young-Stone Pointing/Clicking Jesse Davis Sales Force Laurin Walker Big Mouth In Chief Matt Walker Blame It All On Suite P Inc. PO Box 7100 • KDH, NC 27948 Office: 252-441-6203 • Sales: 949-275-5115
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email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. www.outerbanksmilepost.com
roadmap gokite “Cape Hatteras Lighthouse” By Nathan Lawrenson
milepost graphiccontent gosurf outthere gohunt rearview
03 StartingPoint The shortest distance...
20 P arallel Universe Around the world at 36 degrees.
06 UpFront Medical deserts, musical legends, and moving questions.
24 G raphicContent That’s a wrap!
16 GetActive Do-gooders get their due. 18 FirstPerson Eure remembered.
34 QuestionAuthority Dr. Evert Van De Vliert gives science some latitude. 36 ArtisticLicense Skidding around with Nathan Lawrenson.
“Most of what I do is heavy and chunky, cutting straight lines. But once you get into the small pieces and intricate cuts, it takes some detail — and some math. I haven’t had a math class for 20 years, so the simpler I can keep the geometry, the better. Lighthouses were the first thing I did. I’ll also do ospreys. Wild mustangs. Anything that feels like home. I’ll make a stencil, put five or six pieces across, start cutting, and out pops a horse. But other than the stencil, everything’s different. And that’s where the creativity comes in. You get to piece together different colors and shapes. Different angles. Different grains. Different backgrounds. Sometimes the wood’s thick; sometimes it’s thin. Some pieces are large, some are small. The combinations are endless. Actually, pallet walls are some of my favorites, because they’re so big. It’s like painting a mural — and there’s not as much math involved.” [Laughs] — Nathan Lawrenson
38 S oundCheck Whatever you do, don’t call it a gong show. 41 OutThere Island brogue-mance.
Follow us to Duck. This winter, enjoy all that Duck has to offer. From beautiful boardwalk views to eclectic shops and top-notch dining, there is something here for you.
For a shopping guide and information on special events held by Duck Village Merchants, visit doducknc.com.
42 EndNotes Hibernal events stacked to the horizon.
THE BIG CHURN soundcheck
Outer Bankers come to grips with recent changes in health care.
Outer Bankers are no strangers to stress. Whether it’s hurricanes or housing shortages, unforeseen challenges are just everyday life. But if you want to see a local look really worried, talk to them about changes in medical care.
Over the past five years, our health care system’s faced a dizzying array of makeovers and mergers, relocations and exits, but the recent departure of two beloved family doctors left patients particularly stunned. First, in February, Manteo’s Dr. Walter Holton announced his retirement after 44 years. Then, in September, Dr. Joseph Keenan, a primary care physician, decided to shutter his Nags Head office after more than two decades.
“What is happening is that physicians are looking at the computer more than they’re looking at the patient,” Dr. Holton says. “They have to document everything that’s going on with the patient. Previously, I think there was time to develop a relationship and that time has kind of been taken away by the fact that we’ve gone to a computer system that requires you to produce a six-page report for a minor medical problem.”
“I was Dr. Keenan’s first patient here,” an older gent told the receptionist at Ocean View Medical when he picked up his records. “I still don’t know where I’m going to go. Probably nowhere. I feel like an orphan.”
For Dr. Holton — who went from meeting practically every ordinary medical need for just about every person in Dare County, to being undone by computerization — much of the field’s changes can be linked to the requirement for physicians to accommodate health insurance companies. Also, the pharmaceutical industry now influences patient demands, and there is the lurking threat of malpractice lawsuits if doctors fail to follow specific guidelines or forego certain tests. Over the years, all these factors have complicated the process, adding cost and hours to every visit.
But all this upheaval goes beyond the Outer Banks, as digital technology has revolutionized communication and information systems in less than a generation, making advances feel more like whiplash than transition. Meanwhile, the behemoth US healthcare system is influenced heavily by national politics and powerful competing interests — leading to less one-on-one interaction in communities everywhere.
Dr. Holton, 75, says that when he started his solo practice in 1974, he employed a nurse and one person for the front desk. A hearse, and later a converted station wagon, were used as ambulances. Patients would file their own insurance, and doctors would jot their notes in the patient’s file. In the 1980s, Medicare started filing the paperwork for patients, with input from the medical practice, and soon other insurance
companies followed. Then Medicare decided to set the fee that the doctor would be reimbursed, Dr. Holton says, paying about 50 percent less than normal, with no raise in the last 15 years. Meanwhile, Dr. Holton says, keeping records on the computer system became increasingly burdensome and timeconsuming. At one point, he had to hire about three front desk staff, four nurses, and a lab technician. Costs for equipment were also soaring. “I don’t care how many people I saw, I could not keep up a practice,” Dr. Holton says. “I preferred being a solo practitioner, but it was impractical.” Finally, about ten years ago, he threw in the towel and asked to join Vidant Health in Manteo. The group not only had the designated staff to do his patient insurance filing, it also provided him more affordable health insurance. “Without [Vidant and the hospital],” he says, “we’d probably have five medical practices scattered about and people would be lined up out the door.” Dan Dwyer agrees. An OB/GYN who came to the Outer Banks in the late 1990s, Dr. Dwyer says he found himself run ragged by demands of computerized record-keeping at his practice at Coastal Women’s Clinic, where he was one of four physicians. “In 2006, I was one of the most miserable people in the world,” he recalls. “I was working incredibly hard, and I could have made more money [flipping] two houses.”
Documentation requirements escalated dramatically around 2011, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It was around then that Dr. Dwyer decided to join the Outer Banks medical group. By then, with the changeover from paper records to computer records, the economic forces of modern medicine were already becoming data-driven, technical and interconnected. And complex
Group in October of 2015. Today, more than 15,000 people on the Outer Banks use one of their providers as their primary medical care, making nearly 94,000 visits in 2017.
she explains, meaning the rehab service is a complementary but separate business tucked into her main practice meant to enhance healthcare options.
Although it’s easy to see why locals on the Outer Banks, especially long-term residents, might feel a little suspicious of a medical conglomerate gobbling up offices, Dr. Dwyer says it’s not the case that he or other doctors were forced out or coerced into joining. If anything, it is the opposite. “I don’t know of a single practice that felt pressured by a large practice to join it,” he says. “The doctors went to them to meet the needs of their patients.” It’s not the only model. There are still independent doctors who band together in smaller practices to share the administrative burden. Beach Medical Care has an office in Nags Head, while Surf Pediatrics & Medicine has grown over the years to serve patients in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk. And other physicians are creating innovative ways to stay vital while working solo — if not staying entirely standalone. medical systems with complex regulatory demands require complex information and communication systems. Being under the umbrella of a larger organization, Dr. Dwyer says, allows physicians like himself to “create time and space” for a coordinated approach to patient care, without the burden of data entry and other office work. “As it’s been said, ‘In stormy seas, it’s better to be in a bigger boat,’” he explains. “I really
enjoyed private practice, but I’m enjoying what I’m doing now, because I have better tools. Besides, what we did 20 years ago wouldn’t work today.” No doubt, today’s landscape has more health care providers. According to Amy Montgomery, spokeswoman for the Outer Banks Hospital, there are a total of 35 providers in the Vidant Medical Group, which joined with Outer Banks Medical
Last year, the board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Marci Lait, partnered with FYZICAL — a physical therapy franchise that focuses on providing services to treat balance problems, dizziness, and fall prevention — to open a new practice in Nags Head called Blue Water Ear Nose & Throat. She can see and treat patients, as well as offer a fully equipped rehabilitation area provided by FYZICAL. “It’s like Dunkin’ Donuts in the gas station,”
Add it to the latest example of a disrupted market creating different solutions. But, just like Ubers vs. taxis or Airbnb vs. hotels, the question remains: who really wins? And, is the consumer better off? “I think we’re on our way to a better place,” says Dr. Dwyer. “Change is really hard. I think it’s going to be better for patients.”
“What we did 20 years ago wouldn’t work today.”
— Dr. Dan Dwyer
Dr. Holton agrees. While he admits the stereotypical, 50s family doctor is going the way of film cameras and typewriters, he also recognizes the rewards that come with technology, whether it’s a cancer center and MRI machines, or the sheer number in local specialists, from surgeons to dermatologists, chiropractors to acupuncturists. That’s a big leap from the days when every trip to the doctor required a drive to VB. “Forty-five years ago, there was not any medical care here,” Dr. Holton says. “Going from what there was then to what there is now — it’s kind of hard to complain.” — Catherine Kozak
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One leader, many bands. Photo: Drew Wilson/ The Virginian-Pilot/ Outer Banks History Center
Walter Gray and his Big Band Preservation Society
In the spring of 1988, Gray’s opened a new flagship store in Kitty Hawk, and the couple handed over the iconic, four-decade business to their children. Walter Gray, Sr. began to work “to keep the music of a previous era alive on the Outer Banks.” The Big Band Preservation Society solicited members who, for $50 per individual or $100 per couple, could attend four planned gigs in the Virginia Dare Room of the Armada Hotel in South Nags Head, known today as Comfort Inn South.
In 1948, a wave of growth was washing over the sands of the Outer Banks. It had been 18 years since the new Wright Memorial Bridge improved access to the area’s beaches and historical attractions. World War II was over and America’s traveling public was ready to hit the road and recreate.
Along the Beach Road in Nags Head, the Carolinian Hotel and Owen’s Restaurant were in their second season of dishing up southern hospitality, while young Walter Gray and wife Estelle launched Gray’s Gifts and Beach Accessories in a neat two-story building on the west side of the road, just south of the Carolinian. The couple peddled goods and knickknacks from the lower level, and lived above the store with their infant son, Walter. Over the years, four more children would join the family, and the business name would change to Gray’s One-floor Department Store, then Gray’s Family Department Store.
The schedule that first year included the Artie Shaw Orchestra, Henry Busse Orchestra, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman Band, and the Russ Morgan Orchestra. (In most cases, bands’ namesakes had passed on, but that didn’t curb enthusiasm.)
50 years of
Shopping options back then were few, so in addition to clothing, Gray’s offered items a vacationer or cottage owner might find useful — beach gear, sheets, toiletries, film. It was a family affair with the Gray children pitching in to stock merchandise or inflate rafts.
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In his 2010 book, Sidemen: Chronicle of a Never-Ending Dance Band, author and musician Mike Hassell adroitly described the charged atmosphere at these Big Band get togethers.
“Walt Gray was such an iconic personality that after having built his business, he was pretty much known among the entire permanent population of the Outer Banks. Since the Preservation Society was Walt’s baby, he took charge of the dance evenings in a big way, appearing at each one dressed in a red dinner jacket to serve as host and emcee, standup comedian, and philosopher and emeritus of the vanishing age. This became a memorable trademark for the entire venture, turning it from a series of bush league bashes into annual happenings for all who lived in or visited the area.”
That was Walter Gray — part cheerleader, part host, part showman.
Hassell even shared an epic scene in which Walter — or Wally as he was also known — had a tumble after tripping on a microphone cord in the midst of emceeing. The animated Gray continued to encourage eventgoers to have a good time, even as he was bleeding and being loaded onto a gurney for an ambulance ride to the urgent care facility. But that was Walter Gray — part cheerleader, part host, part showman. In 1993, the old two-story shop on the Beach Road became Walt Gray’s World of Musicana, specializing in music-themed gifts and novelties. It was another creative outlet for sharing his passion for music.
Wally was nostalgic, and knew how to enter a room. When the famed Carolinian Hotel held an auction of furnishings that drew sentimentals and history buffs, Gray climbed the interior steps, voice raised in song. The camera crew from a Norfolk television station spun around to capture the moment, while reporter Matt Artz wrote in the Coastland Times, “Walter Gray, of Gray’s Family Department Store with his portable tape recorder as accompaniment stood in the lobby singing, That Old Gang of Mine.” A lover of people, with a “passion for making people laugh,” Walter Gray was quick to strike up a conversation. After Estelle’s passing in 2001, he carried her photo in his wallet and shared it with new acquaintances, always referring to the two of them as a team. He passed away three years later in 2004. This year marks Gray’s 70th anniversary in business on the Outer Banks. Three of Walter and Estelle’s children are involved with the family’s five stores spread between Kitty Hawk to Corolla. The neat, two-story building that peddled film and blow-up rafts to tourists, now houses Sea Green Gallery, which specializes in refurbished and repurposed art. That’s some sweet music. — Sarah Downing
Sources: Hassell, Michael, Sidemen: Chronicle of a Never-Ending Dance Band, Williamsburg, Va: Botetourt Press, 2010; “Organization Being Formed to Foster Big Band Music,” Coastland Times, Mar. 13, 1988: 2; Walter Gray obituary, Jan. 13, 2004, Coastland Times; “Hotel’s Demise Conjures Nostalgia,” Matt Artz, Coastland Times: 14A, Jan. 28, 2001; AV5214.16 Walter Gray, Interview with David Stick, Aug. 10, 2001, Outer Banks History Center.
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upfront soundcheck getactive startingpoint roadmap A cheering, jeering gokite look at recent events and their potential milepost impacts.
MEN OF STEEL Look, up in the sky! It’s a girder, it’s a crane, it’s a…finished Bonner Bridge! Or at least it will be soon. In late Aug. contractors laid the final I-beam on the nearly 10-story, 2.8 mile, concrete-and-steel structure, setting the stage to cut a ribbon by Jan. 2019. Cheers to all the super-men and -women who battled water and weather to build this heroic achievement. (Now, we get to watch contractors yell, “Hulk smash!” as they turn the old one into rubble over the next ten months.) CANDID CAMERA Get ready for close-ups if you have public comments for Manteo. In Sept. the board unanimously approved televised meetings — a total reversal from last March, when a split vote turned down the idea,
saying cameras might scare people from speaking. What prompted the change? Audience input — of course! — as a packed house of residents and community leaders showed up with a 500-signature petition. It was such a huge ratings sweep they also added the Planning Board, Parks Committee, and Architectural Review Committee meetings to the schedule of must-see TV. (See local listings for screen times.) MAKING THE GRADE? We’re an A-plus community, with a billiondollar economy. So how come our school system is still getting Cs? That’s the real question after North Carolina Public Schools accountability results were released in Sept., revealing 9 out of 10 schools got solid Bs, while First Flight Middle dropped from a B-rating to a C. Even Manteo High went from an A+ to an A. And while critics have questioned the scores’ criteria and purpose since their implementation in
2013, there’s one educational standard every parent, teacher and students knows by rote: never let your grades slip. PET PROJECT In four decades of non-stop development, there’s one piece of housing that’s been left behind — the animal shelter. Not anymore. After years of flooding and other issues, in Sept. the county approved an architect to replace the aging structure with a new, state-of-the-art, $2 million facility, most likely next to the Dare Emergency Center. A start time is still TBD, but soon our furry friends will have a non-leaky roof over their heads, and a more solid chance at finding forever homes. BEAR NECESSITIES Que Baloo! Mainland Dare homeowners have reason to boogie this fall, as the county began offering bear-resistant cans, after citizens complained their ursine neighbors were knocking them over. The
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new models feature locking mechanisms that are easy for humans to use — and trash trucks to unload — but impossible for even the hungriest of bears to open. Just call 252475-5895 to get one delivered for under $96. A small price to pay to keep Yogi from trashing your yard. A WHIFF AND A BLOW Mother Nature sure put the “psyche!” in tropical cyclone this year. It all started with Hurricane Florence, where the real chance of a Cat-4 landfall turned into a lastminute whiff — but destroyed Wilmington and Down East NC. Then came Tropical Storm Michael, which seemed like a minor nuisance from the Gulf of Mexico — only to sucker punch our sound-side communities with serious flooding and $7.3 million in property damage. The lesson? Even the weakest named storm is a potential wrecking ball. And never turn your back on the Sound.
FLYING FLOTSAM Florida’s Space Coast has some unexpected competition. For the second time in a year, southern beaches became unintended landing strips for private spacecraft. Last Oct., a 15-foot section of a Space X rocket washed ashore in Hatteras Village. This fall, part of a Falcon 9 fuselage floated up in Ocracoke. Both were linked to recent launches in Cape Canaveral, not nearby Wallop’s Island, providing a fresh perspective on how far these things fly after lift-off — and adding a new kind of shell fragment to look for on beach strolls. PUP GUN? Is no place safe? Is nothing sacred? In Oct., a KDH family put their two dogs on a second-story back porch for some fresh air — five minutes later, one was shot dead by a high-powered BB gun. At press time, the crime remained unsolved, but let’s hope it’s just some stupid kid whose idea of a prank had horrible consequences — and not
some deranged psycho sniper with larger prey in his sights. FIRST CLASS UPGRADE A hundred years ago, the Wright Flyer was groundbreaking technology that transformed the world — today, it’s a relic most kids can’t relate to. That’s why the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor’s Center just completed an 18-month, $7.3 million-dollar renovation. While the historic, 1966 building stays true to its nostalgic design, new artifacts lend insight into the brothers’ genius, resolution and faith — while 21st-century, interactive displays transport users back in time — all to rekindle the magic behind one of history’s most monumental achievements.
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 “Might I humbly suggest The Arthur Pewty Sea-to-ShiningSea Memorial SkyLine Bridge. You’re welcome.” — Arthur Pewty, “Should the New Bridge Over Oregon Inlet Have a New Name?” Sept. 27, 2018,OuterBanksVoice.com.
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We got questions — you got answers.
Josh Crow, 25 Sails Executive Colington “Raleigh or Asheville. Mostly for work and better pay. I’m a grad student studying human computer interaction so the job opportunities are in that area anyway.”
startingpoint roadmap gokite milepost
Chris Dixon, 23 Josh’s Boss Manteo “Marathon. It’s in the Keys. Has the Gulf on one side. The Atlantic’s on the other. The fishing’s amazing and so is the weather. Pretty much the Outer Banks of Florida.”
graphiccontent White, 63 gosurf Charlotte Interior Motivator Southern Shores “I was just talking to my husband about this. I said we’d have to move to a mountaintop to get away from the flooding. Probably somewhere in Colorado. The scenery is so beautiful.”
Kalynn Burton, 21 Deli Queen Camden “If I had to move, I would head to Virginia Beach. I grew up there. And now, after living in the country, I want to get back up that way.”
Where’s the one place you would move to — and why? Gary Langer, 73 Full-time Free-timer Rodanthe “I wouldn’t ever want to move, but if I had to, it would be Asheville, because it’s high up and far back. Or, I could see myself heading to Nashville or the DC area, because I have family in both.”
Jeff Carver, 34 Shaka Distributor Kill Devil Hills “Ecuador or Peru. The surfing and fishing are great. The people are amazing. And being able to go from the rain forest to the mountains to the beach in a couple hours seals the deal.”
Beth Fiedler, 64 Professional Book Worm Colington “Wyoming. I grew up there, and every single day I miss the mountains.”
Robin Culpepper, 48 Hobby Lobbiest Kill Devil Hills “I would find a piece of property in the mountains so secluded that I would need binoculars to see my nearest neighbor.” Interviews and images by Tony Leone
Compassionate Care The Hallmark of The Outer Banks Hospital It’s what you can expect of your community hospital. Understanding and support for every person during every experience. Compassionate care. Right here.
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NC’s Governor’s Volunteer Service Award salutes four decades gosurf of selfless acts. A piece of paper may seem a small reward for years of free labor. But in the world of volunteerism, any form of appreciation is important.
“Everybody likes a pat on the back,” Nags Head Fire Chief Kevin Zorc says, adding that all local fire departments rely on volunteers to some capacity.
Zorc’s no stranger to recognition. In 1991, he accepted a Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on behalf of Dare County Friends of Youth, a nonprofit he founded in 1990 to foster relationships between adults and atrisk children. Zorc grew up in a single-parent home and remembers having abundant free time. He may not have been a “habitual troublemaker,” but he believes he could have benefited from more adult input. “My whole vision was trying to prevent children from going without mentors,” Zorc continues. “I wanted to connect people who had something to offer — interests, hobbies, maybe even generate some occupations. The kids involved with a caring adult outside the home stood a better chance of not going back to the court system.”
Today, Friends of Youth continues their good work. In fact, they received another Governor’s Award in 2015 — making it the county’s first-ever repeat recipient — and that’s after 40 years of state-issued affirmations. Former Governor James Hunt established the annual awards in 1979 to recognize the volunteerism of up to ten individuals or organizations per county. Past Dare County recipients include the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Move Volunteer Team, the Extension Master Gardeners, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge volunteers, Dare County Teen Court, OBX Project Purple, Dare County Motorcycle Toy Run, Coastal Family Church, and the Outer Banks Repeater Association. Last year, Gail Leonard, founder of Outer Banks Room in the Inn and Ruthie’s Kitchen, received a Lifetime Achievement Award (a subset of the Governor’s Award). Jessica Loose, now a retired ESL teacher and volunteer with Sea Change Partnership, was one of seven Dare residents receiving the award in 1999. At the time, she was a realtor volunteering with Habitat for Humanity,
Pictured left: Dare County’s 2018 Volunteer Service Award winners. Front: L-R: Emily Gould, for the Dare County Friends of Youth; Sue Kelly, Guardian ad Litem of Dare County; Gail Leonard, Lifetime Achievement Award; Mary Pendill, for Dare County Center; Pastor Tiffany Wescott and Sarah Canizales for Coastal Family Church. Middle: Tara Thomas and Teri Grubbs, for Dare County Motorcycle Toy Run; McKenzie Hill, Pastor Stephen Wescott and Lynda Hester, for Coastal Family Church. Back: Terry Gray, James Crowder, Diane Wilson; Chris DeCou and Anita Hess, Dare County Motorcycle Toy Run.
which area contractor Skip Saunders established in Dare County following a sharp downturn in the housing market. “I was scrounging up realtor contributions; Skip was scrounging up contractors willing to help,” Loose recalls. “Even then, housing was out of reach for most people.” Habitat purchased land with donated money and volunteers and the recipient low-income family worked together to build the house with donated materials in what was a true community effort. “The family was required to put in 300 hours of sweat equity for their house, and they put 300 hours of sweat equity into the next house,” Saunders says. “It was a selfperpetuating volunteer base.”
Smith coordinates the emergency management’s warehouse team. After disasters strike, he ships out everything from hazmat suits and bleach, to water bottles and pet food provided by FEMA and the state.
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“During Hurricane Matthew, it was 12-14 hours a day for, like, 12 days,” Smith recalls. “We were pretty busy.”
The impact can encourage a nonprofit for years.
Unfortunately, after building 11 houses, Habitat folded when rising land prices made projects impossible. But Loose is still proud of their work.
So how does a commendable citizen earn an award? First, they have to be nominated locally. Each county sends their qualified picks to Raleigh, which announces the final statewide recipients each spring. Bonnie Bennett, longtime county coordinator of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, hopes to see more nominations come across her desk this year.
“It’s not in my blood to give up helping others who are less fortunate,” says Loose. “It was wonderful to be recognized for that.”
“Twenty years ago, it wasn’t anything to get 20-25 applications,” she says. “We’re lucky if we get six today.”
Beyond the certificates and lapel pins bestowed upon dozens of worthy residents, seven Dare County citizens have received an even higher honor — a Medallion Award. In 2006, a committee in Raleigh began selecting 20 statewide standout volunteers, who also meet the governor during a reception at the State Capitol.
So what are you waiting for?
Dare County’s most recent Medallion recipient was Emmett Smith, who was honored, in 2017, for his work with Dare County Emergency Management and Food for Thought, which provides meals to lowincome students.
“A Governor’s Award is an affirmation [a group is] making a positive difference,” Zorc notes, “so they can further look forward to expanding the program and bringing more people into the organization.” — Corinne Saunders
The nomination is just one page, plus references. The cutoff is January 16, which gives residents plenty of time to submit worthy people. And the impact goes beyond a single person; it can encourage a nonprofit for years to come.
Wanna nominate someone for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award? Go to www.nc.gov/agencies/volunteer/volunteer-awards for categories, deadlines, criteria, and more. To nominate, call Bonnie Bennett at 252475-5753 or visit www.darenc.com/governorsaward.
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firstperson gobike Pirate’s smile circa 1990. Photo: Drew C. Wilson/ The Virginian-Pilot/Outer Banks History Center
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IT WAS A HOOT! upfront
The Outer Banks lost a legend in Glenn Eure — but his legacy and his laughter endure. soundcheck
He printed. He painted. He sculpted. He etched. He immortalized the Passion of the Christ by carving 14 stations of the cross for Kitty Hawk’s Holy Redeemer By the Sea — and cemented 100 years of aviation by helping design Dare County’s Monument to a Century of Flight. And yet, Glenn Eure’s most impressive work wasn’t any single piece of art — it was the mark he left on local culture. Over 43 years, his sharp wit, generous spirit and resolute self-awareness carved an indelible impression on the Outer Banks one infectious interaction at a time. Every day was a chance for a healthy laugh — and a little good-hearted mischief. And every conversation was a chance for a classic tale, always ending with, “It was a hoot!” When he passed away on Sept. 3, Eure left a legacy of love and laughter that will last forever. What follows are excerpts culled from a 2012 interview for our “Random Acts of Weirdness,” where he tells some of his favorite stories from times gone by — and encourages Outer Bankers to keep the crazy days coming.
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“I think I’ve always known who I was. I’ve never been shy. I was a hero of the gridiron at 140 pounds at New Bern High School. I served as a paratrooper in the Army — both the Korean and Vietnam wars. When I left the Army, I had ten years of enlisted service, 13 years of commissioned service — and I retired as a major disaster. [Laughs] In retrospect, I was probably an artist to start with. But, I didn’t know anything about art until I retired from the Army and went to East Carolina University Art School. I got into printmaking in an unusual manner. The first class I signed up for, the professor’s name was Donald Sexhour. I said, “Sex Hour, this one’s for me!” [Laughs] But it turned out to be Printmaking 101. And I fell in love with it immediately. I graduated with a degree as a printmaker, and a double minor in painting and sculpting. I was the first person on the beach to do fish prints. In 1972, the superintendent of the Park Service came to ECU and recruited six volunteer artists. They didn’t pay us, but they gave us a place to live down at Coquina Beach. Everybody had their own little silver bullet trailer. We looked like a bunch of gypsies. I spent the summer of ’73 doing woodcuts and paintings and fish prints. People would walk up with their catch and flop it on the table. I’d slop it up with black ink and take a big sheet of tableau paper, put it on top, rub it, and make beautiful abstracts. We did a 600-pound marlin, once. The print was seven feet long and three feet wide. The people at Oregon Inlet got kind of irritated, because they wanted to stuff the marlin and make it a trophy, but the guy took it home and wallpapered his den wall with it. It was a hoot! When I graduated in 1975, I moved here permanently and opened a scuba diving business. But I took a bath in the dive business. [Laughs] My first gallery was a little hole in the wall across from Tanya’s Ocean House, which is gone now. I was a bachelor and I’d run woodcuts right off the press. I was more or less playing. But, I had a little retirement income from the Army to keep the wolves from the door. I called myself the Barefoot Printmaker, because I didn’t wear any shoes. I immediately fell in with all the local artists — Louis Mesa, Jesse Morales, Adrian Hernandez, Mario Sanchez, and Juan Carlos Gomez De La Vega. Steve Andrus was part of the group, too. We’d sit in Sam and Omie’s and argue about art. We were so loud and boisterous, people would get kind of scared. They thought we were gonna get in a fight. [Laughs] In summer, we’d all gather in front of Tanya’s Ocean House. We’d draw and paint and do sand casts of our faces — just make a little mound of sand, press your face in it, fill it with plaster, then rinse it in seawater. One day, we had a crowd of a hundred people — laughing, talking and drinking wine — and here comes a friend with this pretty little lady. They were about half-looped, and they had the idea they were gonna do butt casts! So, we built up a big pile of sand. They put a blanket around themselves, dropped their drawers, and plopped down. Then we poured the plaster and waited — and waited — and then we all ran down to wash the sand off in the ocean. And when we turned it over and this girl saw her cast — well, let’s just say it was a telltale cast if there ever was one. [Laughs]. We were an obnoxious bunch. But I hope people are having as much fun now as we did then. In 1982, Pat and I opened the Ghost Fleet Gallery. Over the years, we’ve tried to do things differently. Every year, we like to show a new artist. And when things feel boring, we try something new — like “Art of the Self Portrait.” We’ve done categories like “in the buff.” And we’ve had openings with belly dancers. We’ve had shows with 60 different categories, so every category gets a ribbon. But it doesn’t seem odd to me — it seems natural to me. Is it normal behavior? Maybe not at first, but it is now. I still go to the coffee house at least two or three times a week to meet people. I sign pictures of my boats and pirates. If it’s a lady, I go up right when the husband is standing close by and say, “Ma’am, how many times today has someone told you how absolutely gorgeous you are?!” And she’ll look at her husband and say, “Not once.” I see him get that little look of irritation — and I love it. [Laughs] And I guess I should be ashamed of myself — but I’m not.” milepost 19
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What lies over the horizon? A host of strange worlds, full of odd similarities and powerful differences.
L E S S O N S • R E N TA L S • S A L E S
It’s easy for Outer Bankers to feel like the center of the universe. Every summer, it’s as if the whole galaxy — or at least the East Coast — converges upon us by the hundreds of thousands, drawn by the same mystical, magnetic pull. Some call it “cosmic energy.” Others “natural wonder.” But, however special we might be, we are far from alone. In fact, were you to step out your front door, start swimming east, then simply keep moving in a straight line, you’d discover countless worlds with their own unique attractions. So that’s what we did — figuratively speaking. Starting out from Outer Banks’ midpoint along the 36th parallel, we investigated whatever stood out within a single degree on either side — roughly the distance from Carova to Ocracoke. In the process, we found ports that changed the course of history. War-torn territories that push the limits of human nature. Some are so familiar, they feel like tourist trap twins — others so dumb, they have to be luck. But whether by cosmic design or pure coincidence, every stop is sure to make you ponder the mysteries of our planet at-large — or at least a fuller appreciation for life here at home.
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Funky dory? Southern Spain’s coastal culture includes a colorful maritime history. Photo: Ben Welsh
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BLACK SAILS & BLACKMAIL
Despite popular opinion, the Outer Banks’ mirror image is not Portugal — it’s Spain. More specifically, Andalusia’s Atlantic coast. And if you look across the sea, you’ll find another “Land of Beginnings” staring right back at us in the form of Cadiz. Not only is Cadiz where Columbus left port on his second and fourth trips to the New World, it’s also one of Europe’s oldest continually inhabited cities, founded way back in 1100 BC by the Mediterranean’s most adventurous mariners: the Phoenicians. (Even today, Cadiz’s watermen fish for tuna using net mazes and boats, an ancient method they call Almadraba.)
As we mark 300 years since Blackbeard’s demise, it’s worth noting that badass, bearded buccaneers weren’t limited to North Carolina — or even the East Coast. The shores of Northern Africa — including Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria — are full of former ports for the Barbary Pirates, who ransacked shipping vessels for almost 1000 years. As far back as the 9th century, these Muslim seamen raided foreign ships and enslaved their crews. But it was between the 16th and 18th centuries, when the Ottoman Empire was at its peak, that the Barbary Pirates really flourished. By then, Europe’s mightiest nations — including Britain, which at that point kept America’s colonies under protection — were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual tributes to keep their shipping interests afloat. Until the Revolution. Come 1787, an independent yet cash-strapped United States found itself feeling the squeeze from powerful “pashas,” but without the deep pockets to play along. Instead, they opted to invest in building warships, leading to America’s first foreign conflict: the Barbary Wars. Between 1801 and 1805, and again after the War of 1812, these prolonged naval struggles littered the seafloor with sunken ships — a Graveyard of the Mediterranean, if you will — before an 1815 treaty killed this last vestige of 19th century piracy.
But it’s the nearby beach communities that ring closest to home. Towns like Zahora feel like a Bizarro Hatteras, where the lighthouse, Faro de Trafalgar, lies to the south — but sits to your left — while population centers are to the north, separated by a long stretch of coastal road and open space. Show up in December, you’ll have the beach to yourself. Come in summer, you’ll barely find a place to park, as urban folk from Seville stuff local campgrounds to spend sunny days getting all-over tans — literally — then party late in beachfront bars, with live bands and late-night fiestas that rock until dawn. And the region’s similarities don’t stop there. Frontera towns such as Conil and Vejer are like cliff-top Manteos where every night is First Friday, full of strolling families and outdoor flamenco shows. Drive south, you’ll pass through a giant sand dune and natural refuge (like a larger, longer Jockey Ridge, except covered with pine trees), until you reach Tarifa, Europe’s undisputed kiteboarding capital where, according to Kiteworld, “reliable, year-round winds blow...and there are many options from bump ‘n’ jump to classic cross-off downthe-line wave conditions.” You can even hop a ferry over a big body of water — only the inlet is the mighty Strait of Gibraltar. And you step off in Morocco instead of Ocracoke.
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Ruins upon ruins. Aleppo’s produced major history — and major battles. Photo: Alan Gignoux
A TEAR FOR TWO CITIES
For a tiny place, we sure have a couple major monuments. Start with Roanoke Island’s Fort Raleigh National Park, home to England’s first attempt at settling the New World. Now add the Wright Brothers National Memorial, the site of man’s first powered flight and a 60-foot pylon just to rub it in the planet’s face. (Fun fact: both sites more or less line up with each other, lying within .01 degrees of the 36th parallel.) But neither cast the global shadow of the Colossus of Rhodes. Built in roughly 294 BCE, the 110-foot sculpture of the Greek god Helios was made from bronze plate over an iron structure — much like its modern tribute, the Statue of Liberty — and took nearly 12 years to build. Standing guard over the island’s harbor upon a 50-foot pedestal, it became known as one of the original “Seven Wonders of the World.” For about 60 years, until an earthquake kneecapped the mighty deity and left it submerged. Ultimately, Arab marauders carried it off for scrap. Today, nobody’s sure where it precisely stood or what happened to its remains. In that way, it’s more like our own Lost Colony.
Outer Banks living wasn’t always so peaceful. Seventy-five years ago, World War II came within miles of the coast, as German U-Boats torpedoed shipping vessels, waking sleeping residents from their beds with explosions and stirring fears of enemy invasion. During the Civil War, the Union claimed their first victory by shelling the Confederates into submission at the Battle of Hatteras Inlet. But neither battlegrounds compare to two of the Middle East’s most war-torn murderous cities: Mosul, Iraq and Aleppo, Syria. From 2016 to 2017, as the last stronghold of ISIS in Iraq, Mosul suffered near non-stop bombings by coalition forces. Experts called it the “most intense urban fighting since World War II.” In Aleppo, the fighting between loyalists and rebels lasted from 2012 to 2016 — earning the unfortunate moniker, “Mother of all Battles” — as the Syrian Civil War’s bloodiest stalemate put civilians squarely in each other’s crosshairs. And while the conflicts may have officially ended, the tragedy continues. According to the Los Angeles Times, as of early 2018, “A third of [Aleppo’s] Old City quarter, a 1.4-square-mile labyrinth of elegant souks, was obliterated in the fighting.” In September, the New York Times reported that Mosul “remains a city of debris, nearly seven million tons worth, much of it concealing improvised explosive devices and conventional ammunition that failed to detonate.” And in terms of deaths, total estimates range in the tens of thousands for Mosul, to at least 400,000 for Aleppo as of 2016, when the United Nations reported an accurate death count was “virtually impossible.” But before they were the modern face of human woe, they were shining examples of human spirit, sharing a common tie: the Silk Road, which was the ancient commercial route that carried spice and cloth, and bridged the East and West for centuries. As little as ten years ago, both Mosul and Aleppo were considered among their respective countries’ most cosmopolitan cities. Today, both are shell-shocked versions of their former selves, home to millions fewer residents, due to forced emigration or death — a heartbreaking reminder that what takes centuries to build can disappear in seconds. And that the calmest of places can turn to chaos in the blink of an eye. milepost 23
Winter is the cruelest season. All the holidays pile up — Hannukah to Christmas to Kwanzaa to Valentine’s — right when your money runs out. We’re here to help you pinch pennies by cutting corners. Attached you’ll find limited edition Milepost wrapping paper. Just enough to handle the smallest (and hopefully cheapest) of goods. A bag of live worms for your fishing father-inlaw. A couple of leftover bars of warm-water wax for your deadbeat brother. A gift card for your loving sweetheart— payable to your favorite local restaurant. Or just tapeup a stickie-note that says, “IOU one XMAS gift,” and get the hell out of dodge. Consider it our way of saying thanks for the past 30 issues of generous support. (Now don’t say we never gave you nothing.)
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
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Which came first, the bibimbap or the egg? A trip to Jeonju means getting the story behind a classic Korean dish. Photo: Zamora
Leave it to China to build a birdbath you can see from space. Welcome to Qinghai Lake, China’s largest inland body of water. At 1616 square miles, it’s ten times larger than our own Lake Mattamuskeet. Located at the corner of the Tibetan Plateau, which is 3000 feet above sea level, Qinghai may as well be considered the rooftop pool for the Roof of the World. Like its Carolinian cousin, this briny basin teems with feathered flyers. Situated at the intersection of two international water bird migration routes, more than 200,000 waterfowl migrate here each year. (Not so fun fact: Qinqhai saw the first official cases of non-domesticated bird flu in 2005, stoking fears of a future epidemic.) But it’s more than just ducks, geese and cormorants; lots of gulls, herons, plovers, and sandpipers are drawn to the water’s high salinity. No wonder international birders flock here in droves to spot new species, and tourists from nearby Xining think of this inland sea as their beach escape.
Seafood. Wine. Weddings. Art. These days, you can’t get through fall without some kind of festival. And apparently, South Korea’s no different — or at least Jeonju Stadium. Constructed in 2001 to host the World Cup, today this venue hosts the kind of king-sized events to make our Visitor’s Bureau openly weep, jamming in thousands of revelers for a wide range of passions, from penmanship (Jeollabuk-do World Calligraphy Biennale) to Korean music (Jeonju International Sori Festival). But neither has the — dare we say? — pungent appeal of the Jonju International Fermented Food Expo. Every October, purveyors of aged edibles from 20 countries converge for five days, amounting to the largest assembly of its kind. The expo features an amazing variety of items, from the hyper-local (a Korean red pepper paste called “gochujang”) to the globally familiar (kimchi and kombucha) to good ol’ fashioned liquor. Got more than five days? Good. This selfproclaimed “food capital of Korea” is so percolating with potent edibles — including a bustling street food scene — it became an official UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2012, meaning you can fill out the year filling up on culinary finds. milepost 27
What you’ll find has stood the test of time.
Discover Historic Corolla Park on the shores of the Currituck Outer Banks, NC.
With Whalehead in Historic Corolla, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the OBX Center for Wildlife Education all within reach, you won’t want to miss any of the unique attractions the Northern Outer Banks has to offer.
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Bank-rolled sushi. Restaurant magnate Kiyoshi Kimura cuts a million-dollar tuna at Tsukiji Market. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/ Getty Images
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TOWER OF POWER
Passing through Japan along the 36th parallel, you’re bound to cross paths with interesting sights. From sacred (Mount Fuji) to political (Imperial Palace) to just plain Dumbo (Disneyland Tokyo). But the Land of the Rising Sun’s freshest surprise isn’t any of the usual tourist traps — it’s Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s largest seafood market. If you think a lot of future fish platters run thorough Wanchese, you should see how much sushi Tokyo shovels out.
The big shocker behind Chiba, Japan’s Inubosaki Lighthouse isn’t where it appears — or what it looks like. Oh sure, it’s kinda cool to realize the beacon’s location is a near perfect triangulation of Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras — and that its coat of pure white paint pays tribute to Ocracoke. But like all stunning beauties, the real attraction to this 1878 structure is its inner glow, provided by — you guessed it — a First Order Fresnel Lens, the high-powered pride of Bodie Island, Currituck and every legendary 19th century lighthouse. Proof that whether it’s people, cultures, or navigational aids, it’s the inside that really matters.
According to The Guardian, every day the market sells, “About 1,800 tons of seafood, worth billions of yen... [and] nearly 500 varieties of fish. Its 42,000 workers keep the market running around the clock.” Just like the Oregon Inlet docks are an afternoon tradition, Tsukiji is also a giant draw for milling visitors, mainly for the tuna auctions, where people blitz before dawn to witness chefs and grocery chains outbid each other for big blues. The opening auction of the year is always the biggest show. On the first Saturday in January, industry big wigs offer hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single fish. Last year, sushi restaurant magnate Kiyoshi Kimura paid more than $600,000 for a roughly 500-pound blue fin; in 2013, he spent a record $1.8 million for one of similar size — the most ever — all to secure his status at the top of the seafood industry food chain. But that’s all over now — at least in that location. In September, Tokyo closed the 95-year-old market to build a transportation hub for the 2020 Olympics. All future fish sales will go down at a waterfront property in nearby Toyosu — previously the home of a gas plant, where traces of arsenic and benzene have reportedly been found. (And you thought tailpipe tuna was bad.)
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Stone groove. Mysterious, moving rocks are just one of Death Valley’s trippiest features. Photo: Paul Brady
LIFE IN A SAUNA
Think California’s a bunch of freewheeling slackers? Maybe. But there’s one area where the Golden State is notoriously uptight: beach driving. All told, there are only eight sandy strands where you can dip your Toyota’s tires in a tidal pool — and all but one are more than three hours north of San Francisco. The sole outlier is Pismo Beach. Better known for its clams, butterflies and being Bugs Bunny’s favorite pit stop, Pismo’s also home to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area — ground zero for dirt bikes, dune buggies, ORV clubs, and four-wheelers of every stripe. In fact, at last count, the off-road area attracts nearly two million people a year — nearly as many as all of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. But while we’ve gotten back on track from a decade of legal dust-ups, Pismo’s issues have just begun. Last year, different state agencies began battling over everything from dust clouds’ effects on humans to water pollution’s impacts on — wait for it — snowy plovers, as well as steelhead trout. All because state agencies didn’t get a grip on their regulations 30 years ago.
Simmer down, hot foot. Sure, our little sandbar can be a summertime scorcher. (And even more so at Jockey’s Ridge, where the sand can hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit when the air’s just 90.) But that’s nothing compared to Death Valley National Park, where surface temps can break the 200°F mark. Furthermore, on July 10, 1913, thermometers near Furnace Creek topped out at 134°F (56.7°C) — a world record that stands to this day. And just this July, Death Valley broke another record with a month-long, day-and-night average of 108.1°F. But then, this land of extreme weather pushes a lot of limits, including being the driest place in North America (average annual rainfall of 1.5 inches) — and the lowest (Badland Basin sits a full 282 feet below sea level). It’s also home to the fastest rocks on earth, aka “Racetrack Playa.” This dry lake bed features random boulders as heavy as 500 pounds and nicknamed the “sailing rocks of Death Valley” that mysteriously move on their own, leaving long, erratically drawn streaks in their dust. Settlers first stumbled across this phenomenon in 1915, leading to decades of research and unanswered questions. In fact, for nearly a century, scientists figured hurricane-force wind gusts had slid the rocks over wet mud during raging storms. But in 2014, researchers used time lapse photography to discover the real culprit. According to the National Park Service, that night “rain formed a small pond that froze overnight and thawed the next day, creating a vast sheet of ice that was reduced by midday to only a few millimeters thick. Driven by a light wind, this sheet broke up and accumulated behind the stones, slowly pushing them forward.” The scientists went on to record total distances of up to 700 feet over a series of freezes, at breakneck speeds of “between two and five meters per minute.” And that’s one sound-side regatta you won’t see behind Jockey’s Ridge — no matter the season. milepost 31
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There goes the neighborhood. The world’s first nuclear detonation decimates property values in the New Mexico desert. Photo: DOD
VIVA LAS VOWS
Weddings. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Beach weddings. Boat weddings. Aquarium weddings. Winery weddings. Sixteen-room, 100-person, family-cluster-fests. Or two peeps, one witness, and no-frills elopements. Over three decades, the Outer Banks has turned the occasional knot-tie into a fullon cottage industry. In 2017 alone, Dare County issued 1083 licenses, an average of more than 20 ceremonies per week — or roughly ten driftwood arbors for every beach access — by catering to couples from all over the country. So it makes sense we’re geographic soulmates with Las Vegas, Nevada, the undisputed world champion of destination “I dos.” At last count, Clark County, where Vegas is located, issued 90,000 licenses, and that’s a down year from the peak in 2004, when 128,000 ceremonies took place on “the strip” — or one for every 20 weddings held in America. Even now, their nuptial trade is worth $3 billion a year — triple Dare’s total visitation figures. Suddenly, our season seems less like a big-budget fairytale extravaganza — and more like a humble little service.
Sometimes, being “the bomb” ain’t such a good thing. Just ask Hiroshima. Or Nagasaki. Both of which were rendered radioactive, thanks to Los Alamos National Laboratory — the top-secret headquarters of the “Manhattan Project.” It was here where Robert Oppenheimer and a hand-picked team of scientists designed and made the world’s first nuclear weapons, in a remote part of New Mexico he first discovered as a visiting teenager. According to NewMexicoHistory.org, “Oppenheimer chose the former Los Alamos Ranch School for Boys at the base of the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico as the site for his research laboratory. Oppenheimer knew of the boys’ school from his vacations… He claimed the site combined perfectly his two loves — physics and the desert.” But the Outer Banks share more with nuclear fission then just geography — they share history. After World War II, Uncle Sam needed places to play with his new toy. When the Pacific atolls proved too public — and quite expensive — the U.S. government began a top-secret study, called “Project Nutmeg,” to find domestic nuclear test sites. Ultimately, the feds came up with a shortlist of locations including Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and North Carolina, specifically the barrier islands between Cape Hatteras and Cape Fear. Like New Mexico, the coast was remote yet accessible — and with a small enough population to relocate any residents. (Which is what we did to the Pacific Islanders.) Furthermore, the weather was perceived as ideal, since offshore winds would push fallout away from the coast. According to a 1949 report by Navy meteorologist Captain Howard B. Hutchinson, the “Pamlico-Core Sound area should be investigated first, at least, for continental test sites when the desire is paramount to avoid fall-out of radioactive waste upon the population of our nation.” (How thoughtful.) Lucky for us, the Soviets began their own atomic tests before the search process was complete. Pressed for time, the government went to work on an underground facility in Nye Valley, Nevada, on land that it already owned. But we should all be thankful that Oppenheimer never fell in love with the OBX on a summer vacation. milepost 33
questionauthority upfront shrinking planet soundcheck Why do some distant cultures share traits? Dr. Evert Van De Vliert breaks getactive down the science behind “latitudinal psychology.”
Truth time: we totally thought we were bullshitting this issue’s theme. After all, how could some arbitrary, invisible line on a map influence different cultures all over the earth? Then we did a little Googling, and it turns out we weren’t entirely off the mark.
According to Dr. Evert Van de Vliert, Professor Emeritus of Applied Social Psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, “Different latitudes along the same longitude offer different seasonal cycles of cold in winter, heat in summer, drought and deluge as well as pathogen prevalence. This is bound to have psychosocial and societal consequences, and so it does.”
Enough consequences, in fact, to merit a whole new discipline called “latitudinal psychology.” Over the past two decades, Dr. Van de Vliert’s been a pioneer in the field, revealing that life in countries and states sharing the same degree north or south of the equator can have much in common, “when it comes to creativity, aggression, life satisfaction, individualism versus collectivism — you name it.”
MILEPOST: How would you describe your research? And how long have you been studying the field? DR. EVERT VAN DE VLIERT: It’s called latitudinal psychology. It’s a brand-new term for an emerging interdisciplinary interest covering geography, ecology, and crosscultural psychology. But I have been working in this field since 1995, when I was President of the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) and had to give a presidential address to IACM members from all over the world, addressing links between ambient temperatures and political violence in 136 countries between 1948 and 1977. What patterns do you see when looking at cultures along certain latitudes? What we see is that north-south differences dwarf east-west differences, in terms of culture. For example, cultural individualism versus collectivism. Individualism pertains to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose — everyone is expected to look after herself or himself and her or his immediate family. Collectivism is the opposite; it pertains to societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups. Against popular knowledge, we find no east-west differences in individualism and collectivism after controlling for latitude and wealth. Instead, we find that collectivism increases from the poles toward the equator in both the Northern and Southern hemisphere.
Why is that? Are the poles themselves an influence, because of magnetic energy, or is it more of the climate itself?
Of course, latitude is an imaginary coordinate that can have no impact at all, and the poles and the equator are not much help either. No, the answer must be sought in the latitude-related ecology — factors like cold stress, heat stress, drought stress, deluge stress, pathogen stress, and poverty stress — because all of these stresses are varying along latitude rather than longitude.
Does that mean you’ll find a bunch of beach bums riding the 36th parallel in the heart of the Middle East? Hardly. But you will find them just across the ocean. And inside any given country or state, you’re even more likely to discover somewhat distant neighbors sharing surprisingly similar values.
We asked Dr. Van Vliert to explain his studies and connect a few dots right here at home. milepost
How does climate influence cultures then? Temperate environments are easier and make people behave one way, while harsher climates are the opposite? That’s right. As warm-blooded animals, temperate environments are ideal, since they
Why did Outer Bankers rush to help Down Easters recover from Florence? It’s called “connectivity” — and it’s a trait that cuts across our whole state. Photo: Daniel Pullen
Sure, the arctic and deserts also exemplify the impact of climate on how difficult it is to eke out a living and create the cash and capital needed to deal with all the consequences of the cold or the heat. As a consequence, yes, our research has shown that poorer people in harsher climates are working more for money than for fun. Is it safe to say you’ll put up with less money — or higher costs — for a better climate? In Florida and California, they call it the Sunshine Tax. Indeed, economists see climate as a commodity, have modeled climates, and have estimated their prices. My thermometer for livability can be used also as a scale for guesstimating the price of a place of residence with given winters and summers. Smaller upward and downward deviations from 72 degrees should lead to a higher price for the local climate, thus a lower monetary compensation for working and living in that local climate.
offer comfortable temperatures, consumable flora and fauna, and low disease burdens, with the consequence that inhabitants experience little stress. They tend to create easygoing cultures. In places with colder winters, hotter summers, or both, people experience more climate stress. They require more and better clothing, shelter structures, and heating or cooling systems, all of which increases investments of time and effort in the pursuit of foods and drinks, and more measures to safeguard family health. Do temperate climates also tend to draw more people? Harsher climates keep them away? Well, as you know, arctic areas and deserts are not overcrowded. In between these empty areas, our species has learned to cope with harsher climates by inventing and innovating billions of ideas, practices, instruments, and artifacts to deal with our three fundamental problems: how to stay comfortably warm; how to acquire and retain food, especially water, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; and how to prevent disease. But the daily weather has only shortterm influences. Persistent cultural values, beliefs and practices are rather shaped by the average weather — i.e. climate. However, this process of niche construction
and culture creation takes so long that inhabitants are usually unaware of the impact of their habitat on their habits. Describe your thermometer for “livability.” Why is 72 degrees the magic number? Is that strictly about temperature, or something more? Much evidence indicates that an ambient temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit — or 22 degrees Celsius — is optimal for the thriving of plants and animals, and for the psychosocial functioning of humans, who feed on plants and animals. It is the approximate point where the metabolic rate required for the clothed individual is both minimal and independent of the ambient temperature. Relatedly, it is the temperature preferred by tourists, too. Even more importantly, basic needs for nutrition and health are met more easily in habitats endowed with abundant flora and fauna amid supportive seasonal temperatures. Does that then impact other factors inside that culture? For example, your research mentions having money can make a harsh climate easier. Does that make people more inclined to seek money? And does that then become a stronger trait within those cultures?
On the Outer Banks, our year-round temp is roughly 72 degrees, but we have pretty harsh weather at times — winter storms and hurricanes. It’s also a rough economic climate —often hard work for little financial reward — but also a pretty carefree, close community that’s tight and conflict-free. Does that make sense? I am not familiar with the Outer Banks, but this cultural pattern does not surprise me. It sounds easygoing and relatively collectivist, like the Caribbean, which is an excellent example of a region where easygoing cultures prevail. The Caribbean lifestyle on Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, and numerous other smaller islands, is relatively relaxed. These islanders tend to shun both working for money and working for achievement. Neither survival nor self-expression pressures seem to weigh heavily on the islanders’ thoughts, emotions, and actions. Also, North Carolina shows a high rate of collectivism compared to other states. This all started because of my curiosity in looking east along the 36th parallel and seeing what places were along that latitude. Looking east, Southern Spain seems like the most obvious parallel: there are small beach towns with small
year-round populations and summer tourism — like here. Is that coincidence?
It’s no coincidence. Your observation fits in nicely with our repeated finding that north-south differences in culture dwarf east-west differences in culture. For climatic, pathogenic, and economic — Dr. Evert reasons, these Van De Vliert longitudes along roughly the same latitude are expected to have roughly the same cultures. But societal functioning has many fathers and mothers. It would be no less than silly to attempt to explain all pattern complexity with one single theory or field, like latitudinal psychology.
there is no magnetic energy pulling people to the Outer Banks.”
Are there any distinct geographic patterns that are unexplainable but seem to fit? For example, you hear people talk about Earth’s “energy vortexes.” People even say that Cape Hatteras is some sort of magnet that draws people — residents and visitors alike. Or do people just make this stuff up based on other existing beliefs? And, if so, why? I am not aware of any scientific evidence supporting these claims. Human beings do relate to certain places, so much so that they prefer to migrate to regions with similar climates — for example, English emigrants to Australia and New Zealand, Amish and Mennonites in North America, et cetera. But there is no magnetic energy pulling people to the Outer Banks; it is simply that people use the thermometer for livability to select their holiday options. But, people every day, everywhere want to perceive themselves as having control over their lives. That is a universal motivation. — Matt Walker
Ed. Note: The preceding interview was edited for length, flow and clarity. Find a full transcript at www.outerbanksmilepost.com. milepost 35
artisticlicense Cutting up in the woodshop. Photo: Chris Bickford
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WITH THE GRAIN
Nathan Lawrenson turns backyard pallets and woodpile scraps into works of art. roadmap As a child, Nathan Lawrenson took notice of the curious decor adorning the walls and ceiling of his grandfather’s Outer Banks beach box. Much of it was made from random finds, like sea glass and driftwood. He was fascinated by the use of everyday items to make something beautiful or useful. He was also a tinkerer — the type to take things apart in order to put them back together. The type to use otherwise overlooked objects to build forts, rafts and other amusements.
broken twin bell alarm clock got turned into a picture frame.” Decades later, the 37-year-old is essentially still doing just that. Under the name The Sandy Pallet Co., Lawrenson continues to transform backyard scraps into things of beauty. His current material of choice, as you may have guessed, is the pallet. Intended for use in shipping and storing goods, pallets are wooden platform-like structures made from cuts of unfinished lumber. They get pushed around warehouses on forklifts by the thousands, loaded onto trucks, and usually end up being left wherever they’re
graphiccontent “As I grew older, I started figuring out how to repurpose junk,” he laughs. “I attempted to reconstruct a few discarded bikes around the neighborhood into a tandem bike. A
delivered. But the use of reclaimed wood in home design and decor has become a popular practice in the past several years, giving pallets a new purpose. “Pallets are everywhere, once you start looking for them,” Lawrenson says. “The trick is to find a few ‘honey holes’ and befriend the business owner or warehouse manager, who will let you know when they’ve got a pile ready for pickup.” While Lawrenson has been involved in the arts since childhood — music, photography, graphic design, you name it — his start in this specific endeavor came after he helped build a pallet wall for Nags Head Church.
People noticed. They wanted more. He started experimenting with woodworking, creating pieces for his friends and family. In April, he began displaying and selling his work at the Corolla Village Market, a cooperative gallery and classroom space for local artists in Historic Corolla Village. Soon he was delighted to begin getting custom order commissions.
The textures, hues and grains create depth and intrigue.
“I’m definitely most happy with my work and my life when I’m able to provide for my family by making art,” Lawrenson says. While he balances his woodworking craft with other endeavors (he also plies his love of the outdoors by leading expeditions for Corolla’s Back Country Safari Tours), he knows that answering his muse will always be a central part of his identity — and his faith. “I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember, and I believe that I was created by God to reflect His nature to those who might be looking at me,” says the former music and worship leader. “The very first thing we learn about God in Scripture is that He is a creator, so that’s why I feel closest to my Creator anytime I’m making something.” And he also keeps his passion close to home. Along his backyard fence, rows and rows of pallets rest atop soft beds of pine straw. A shed stands nearby, with a sign on the door that reads, “The Sandy Pallet Co.” Tall and burly in stature, Lawrenson is reminiscent of a good-natured lumberjack as he motions inside his woodworking shop, emitting a warm glow from its rustic interior. There are stencils here, and tools there. But while it may look cluttered, little is haphazard in this space — this artist knows his medium. “The two trees most commonly used for making shipping pallets are southern yellow pine and oak,” Lawrenson says. “I also have cherry, redwood, maple, and birch in my pile. Age can often change the color and contrast of wood, and a pallet that has been
in circulation for a few years is going to have a lot of character in the form of dents, cracks and rust. Some pallets get darker with age, and some are bleached by the sun.” He uses all of these factors to his artwork’s advantage. The textures, hues and grains create natural depth and intrigue. In one piece, roughly grained wooden mountain tops peak into a sky made of narrower, horizontal cuts of varying colors, all bordered by a beautifully oiled wooden trim. Local wildlife and landmarks are a constant theme, including lighthouse motifs and cutouts of wild horses and osprey. He incorporates mixed media in some pieces, like white paint to snowcap mountains or depict trees, accentuating the grain. String lights give holiday décor, like Christmas trees and five point stars, a festive feel.
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“The vast majority of the time, I’m building something for aesthetics over function, so I’m always searching for the right mix of color and character. What I make is to look at, not to sit on,” Lawrenson laughs. “Most of my work involves simply cutting and planing the wood before piecing it together. I rarely take a sander to the pallets, because it removes all of that character from the wood grain.” The character and heart behind the Sandy Pallet Co.’s creations seem to speak to the residents of our island, maybe because the wood itself is reminiscent of so many things that surround us and subconsciously define our sense of home here on the Outer Banks — the cedar shingles and juniper paneling of old Nags Headers; sand fencing, wooden plank walkways and staircases leading to the ocean’s edge; docks and piers built on sturdy pilings; the driftwood dangling from a neighboring cottage. Nathan’s art is inspired by all of these things that make up a seaside life. And with an infinite supply of outdoor inspiration, there is an endless supply of possibilities — and no shortage of pallets in sight. “I’m at the point now where I’m turning away pallets, because my wife doesn’t want our neighbors accusing us of operating a junkyard,” Lawrenson laughs. “But don’t worry, I don’t think I’ll ever stop creating.” — Hannah West
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Forget entertainment. Martier Sound Meditation is all about feeling — and healing.
If you’ve spent any time on the Outer Banks over the past 30 years, you’ve seen Laura and Dan Martier play music. Maybe it was doing funk-soul-alternative circa 1990. (The B-Sides.) Jamming jazz fusion. (über Lounge.) Channeling country legends in sequined costume (Always…Patsy Cline) or crafting 100% original Americana (BirdDog). You might’ve even caught Laura’s torch-song vocals lighting up Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall or witnessed Dan drive the drums behind Tim Reynolds at Yoshi’s in Oakland. And yet, we guarantee that you have never, ever, seen them play anything like this — because they won’t let you.
“That’s what these eyebags are for,” laughs Dan as he unpacks a mix of yoga gear and percussion instruments. “No peeking!” Their latest collaboration? It’s called Martier Sound Meditation. The genre? It goes by a range of descriptions: Gong Bath, Sound Bath, Sound Immersion, Sound Healing. But no matter the name, the concept’s the same: lie back on something soft, close your eyes, milepost
turn off your brain, and let the music wash over your body until your consciousness wanders. Or, actually, let the vibrations go to work as 3000-year-old metal instruments send shivers from head to toe. It’s a mix of sight deprivation, auditory hallucination, and vision quest. And it’s definitely “a thing.” Enough of a thing, in fact, to have its own New Age heroes. (Eightyfour-year-old Gong Master Don Conreaux’s been leading clinics for a half century.) Enough to build specialized venues in major cities. (Los Angeles has at least eight, including a SoundBathCenter™.) Enough for a pair of long-time performers to change focus from entertaining crowds to engaging individuals. “Is it a logical evolution?” muses Laura. “No. But it is an evolution. I get to express myself, but I’m not pushing my voice or putting on a show. And at the same time, I help people looking to relax and explore. For me, this is the most authentic, holistic way I’ve found to be of service through music.”
It’s a polar opposite from the usual gig. Instead of rowdy nightclubs, they play quiet studios, like KDH’s Well Yoga Co-operative. Walking in, the soothing sounds of Brian Eno set a soft mood. Rows of symmetrical mats lay waiting, each with a blanket, a knee bolster — and an eyebag, of course. Even the ceiling is lined with linens, creating the cozy atmosphere of a slumbery sleepover — if the sleepover were set in a Pottery Barn. The floor’s a semi-circle of Tibetan brass and crystal bowls. On the wall, eight giant metal discs stare down like a spider’s gaze, concentric circles shimmering and glowing in the dimming light. “The gongs are tuned to planetary vibrations,” Laura explains later. “And the bowls have specific notes that correspond to different chakras in the body. So there’s a science behind it. I don’t know exactly what it all means [laughs], I just pay attention to what sounds good. And not just what sounds good — what feels good.”
That’s what hooked Laura and Dan, after all. It wasn’t the science. It was the sensation. Four years ago, Laura checked out sound bath specialists Shanti Sounds while staying at her winter home in Nosara, Costa Rica. The longtime yoga instructor was so moved, she signed up for a workshop. Dan was soon equally as smitten. They stockpiled gear and began practicing the craft, even starting The Well with like-minded partners, in order to host sound journeys locally. In the process, they created a whole new outlet for touring the country. This past summer, they hit the road twice, traveling from Virginia to Canada, creating intimate concerts in studios and converted tobacco barns — and taking main stages at big festivals like Wanderlust, so a crowd of hundreds could lie back and let the good vibes roll. And they’re already booking a winter run to the West Coast. Each gig, they build a growing fanbase, who mostly have no idea they’re witnessing a pair of top pros. At least until they start. “There are a lot of musicians in this world now,” says Laura. “But I think what sets us apart is that we bring a level of musicality. Dan plays the handpan. I use my voice. We’ve been playing for 30 years, but at the same time it’s really all improvisation.” Still, every show starts the same way — in total darkness, with deep breaths. Dan makes melodic rhythms on the handpan, while Laura hums hypnotic messages to “open your mind.” As her voice trails off, more tones fill in. Gongs and bowls swell the space with often diametrically opposed moods as they take you from place to place. Over 45 minutes, there are church-bell-like chimes — and ohms that echo a Mosque’s call to prayer. Rattling rhythms mimic Florence’s rain bands — or whispering rushes that conjure images of the African savannah. Trumpeting elephants — haunting whale song. Space noise so utterly sci-fi you think they snuck in a synthesizer. But it’s more than sound. It’s the vibrations. Waves of energy literally course through your body. At times, they crash over you so hard, your skin virtually ripples.
“We’re all made of water, and water responds to sound,” says Dan, adding that his forearms ached after his first sound bath, releasing tension from years of playing. “That’s part of the therapy, but you have to be very gentle because everyone reacts differently.”
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And how. At first, it’s just geometric shapes spinning around on my eyelids. The more the darkness starves my sight, the more my mind fills in the gaps. At one point, a hand appears to flutter in front me. Later my body feels like it drops a foot through the floor — as if I’m on a tiny rollercoaster. Each new musical movement offers some shift in perspective — perhaps a revelation — or just a way to disengage from reality. And that’s the whole point.
At times, your skin virtually ripples.
“People always say, ‘I don’t do yoga!’” laughs Dan. “But this isn’t yoga. It’s ‘lay down and take a break.’ If nothing else, it makes you stop for 45 minutes. And even if you lay there thinking about your day, you’re still getting a benefit from the vibration.”
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As the mallets slow down, the sounds grow smoother. The vibes more subtle. Finally, Laura’s soothing voice brings us full circle — “there is something infinite, holding us here” — pulling everyone back to full consciousness. Then more deep breathing. Then nothing. Gradually, the class removes the covers, sits up, and takes a collective stretch. There’s no applause. No lighters or cell phones. No shouts for “One more!” But there is a palpable sense of appreciation — and pure positivity from every side. “We’ve always played music because it’s healing for all of us,” says Dan. “In a bar, in a church, it’s all joy. This work is a direct extension of that. It’s just more raw. And to see the reaction of the people with us — that’s what’s really rewarding.” — Leo Gibson
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Oi came here on hoi toide, Oi did, from way ait soide, you see— just loike the rest, Oi came each year, but stayed behoind, nae decades—three? Oi left behoind a woife aind kids, for the loife of dit-dot, sir— a real dingbatter, Oi were mad as a hatter—Oi were feeling a roight bit mommucked, Oi were. Oi’d taken the ferry from saind soide one day — it were a day slickcam as cain be. Oi were feeding them gulls, when she said, Watch ait! — aind wouldn’t you know, she were talking to me. Well, Oi couldn’t reckon one word she said — to that toime, Oi didn’t know brogue — but she laughed when a gull dropped his load on moi arm, aind she threw her roight shoe to that rogue! Aind that were the day — three decades nae gone — Oi rode the toide in with moi daineast woman, aind these days, Oi sit on moi pizer aind pray the toide won’t ne’er take moi fair lady away. — Dave Holton
Illustration by Stuart Parks II milepost 41
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endnotes ‘Tis the season to hand out toys. And not just for Santa. The Angel Gift Program is currently collecting gifts and donations on both sides of the bridge. Contact Hatteras United Methodist Church (252-986-2149) or the Outer Banks Woman’s Club (252455-6224) for drop-off points, then deliver by Nov. 30 so they can start shopping. • Did someone say “shopping”? On Nov. 16-17, join Southern Shores’ All Saints Episcopal Church for the 16th Annual Holly Days Bazaar & Arts Festival, a full weekend of handcrafted items and home-made baked goods. Fri.: 9am-6pm. Sat.: 9am-3pm. Call 252-2616674 for details. • Nobody should go hungry during the holidays. If you’re in need, bring your Dare County ID to the Beach Food Pantry’s Kitty Hawk office, Nov. 17 (9am-12pm) or Nov. 18 (1:30-4pm), and grab a Thanksgiving Bag stuffed with ingredients to make a glorious feast. While supplies last. More at www.beachfoodpantry.org. • Rather fight hunger by filling your ear-holes? Be at Bonzer Shack’s 3rd Annual Let’s Can Hunger Food Drive, Nov. 17, where Zack Mexico and Acid Chaperone rock the house to restock the food bank. Get updates on Facebook. • Fast fingers cook-up warm classics when the Gordon Kreplin & Friends Classical Guitar Concert comes to the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center, Nov. 17. 5pm. More at www.gordonkreplin.com. • Give your palate the performance of a lifetime — and test-drive products for holiday entertaining — at Trio’s Harvestfest, Nov. 17. 3-5pm. Tasty details at www.triowinebeercheese.com. • The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Outer Banks becomes a Cultural Crossroads this winter with a series of thought-provoking programs and movies exploring race, including: Lucinda McKethan’s presentation, Slave Voices in North Carolina, on Nov. 17 and Dec. 1’s 2013 movie, Black Nativity, based on the play by Langston Hughes. Both at 7pm. Plus, Dec. 2’s service reveals brilliant ocean art by Ed Obermeyer at 11:45am. Learn more at www.uucob.org. • On Nov. 21, everybody’s color-blind at Watermen’s Bar & Grill Holiday Ugly Sweater Party in Waves, featuring individual and family prizes for fugliest fabric, plus live tunes by Jeremy Russell. 6-9pm. More at www.realwatersports.com. • Get a sloppy start on the holiday runs, Nov. 21, when the Tipsy Turkey Beer Mile returns to Outer Banks Brewing Station, serving up 40 ounces of cheer in quarter-mile increments. 11am start. Chug over to www.theobxrunningcompany.com for details. • And Nov. 22 is a veritable feast of favorite footraces from north to south, including: Corolla’s Thanksgiving Day 5K; Duck’s 23rd Annual ADVICE 5K; Southern Shores’ 8th Annual OBX Turkey Trot 5K; Nags Head’s Outer Banks Running Club OBX Gobbler 5K; and Hatteras Village’s 7th Annual Surfin’ Turkey 5K & Puppy Drum Fun Run. Google races for deets and register fast, or you won’t make the starting line — but you can still cheer at the finish. • Mingle with the artistic masses — and buy locally made masterpieces — when the Hatteras Island Arts & Craft Guild Holiday Show returns to Cape Hatteras
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“Yo, Ant’ny! Take Ma to the 14th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes in Manteo on Dec. 1!” Photo: Melody Leckie
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2019 Spring Schedule
Secondary School, Nov. 23-24. 10am-4pm. Check Facebook for the latest. • Wanna selfie with St. Nick? Or a pint with Papa Noel? Be at Avon’s Pangea Tavern, Nov. 23, for Santa On the Back Deck. From 12-2pm, he’ll screen kiddies’ gift requests while you knock back some cocoas. Find deets at www.pangeatavern.com. • On Nov. 23, the 2018 Toys for Tots Collection turns the tables on Black Friday by paving Wal-Mart’s parking lot with presents. 8am-8pm. All donations stay local. (You can also bring cash.) Find their Facebook page for updates. • You better believe in Zimmerman, Nov. 23, when Dare County Arts Council celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” with trippy fiber art by Janet Stapelman (39pm) and 7pm tunes by local troubadours. And come back Nov. 30 to peep — and purchase — locally made jewelry at the All That Glitters Opening Reception. 6pm. Exhibit shines thru Jan. 30. More at www.darearts. February 9, 2019 org. • Jockey’s Ridge gets a case of the jollies, Nov. 23-24, as Kitty Hawk Kites hosts 7:00pm Hanging with Santa & Kites with Lights. Both days feature photos with the fat man inside the store (Fri. 10am-2pm; Sat. 1-4pm). On Sat., they bedazzle the dune with glowing kites All Saints Episcopal Church and a 5pm lighting of a solar Christmas tree. More at www.kittyhawk.com. • Elizabethan Tickets $15 Gardens fires up the greenery, Nov. 23, when Grand Illuminations sparks 22 days of Tickets Available January 1 dazzling WinterLights. From 6-9pm, enjoy twinkling scenery, roasting fires, festive fare and an Embellished Hall. Come back for more high-wattage merriment every Tues.-Sat. in Nov. & Dec.; or Fri. & Sat. thru Jan 19. (Closed on Dec 24, 25, 31 & Jan 1.) Last tix sold at 8:15pm. Full details at www.elizabethangardens.org. • Tinsel, trees and a twinkling Steinway piano await when Whalehead’s Candlelight Christmas gives Corolla’s most historic home a 1920s holiday makeover: Nov. 23, 24 & 30 and Dec. 7, 8, 14 &15. 5:30-6:30pm. $20. Tours Clay will be performing fill fast. Call 252-453-9040 to register. • What was winter like before electricity? Find out Meriwether Lewis, Nov. 23-24, as Island Farm’s Garden to Hearth: Heritage Cooking & Food Preservation Sir Walter Raleigh and a interprets fall food traditions and survival tips from the 1850s — plus candle-making and oxspecial Shakespeare show. drawn wagon rides. 10am-4pm. Pricing and details at www.theislandfarm.com. • What was life like without oysters, BBQ and wine? We’d rather not know. That’s why we’re headed to March 25, 26 & 27, 2019 Sanctuary Vineyards for Nov. 24’s The Great Curri-Shuck to slurp, sip and swine ‘til they For venue and ticket info hayride our fat asses to the car. 12-5pm. $40 includes live tunes and craft beer samples to visit bryanculturalseries.org boot. Tix and deets at www.sanctuaryvineyards.com. • KDH’s Ramada Plaza rolls out the red-and-green carpet for Nov. 24’s Outer Banks Entrepreneurs’ 6th Annual Holiday Bazaar. Shop from 50+ local artists and direct salespersons while DJ Cowboy spins party tracks non-stop — and door prizes drop every 10 minutes. 9am-5pm. Learn more on Facebook. • Take the word nerd in your family to Manteo for the gift of a lifetime, Nov. 24, as Downtown Book’s Authorpalooza! draws OBX scribes to sign local masterpieces. Director of the University of 11am-2pm. Learn more at www.duckscottage.com. • Shoot dice to fight domestic violence, Virginia Center for Politics Nov. 30-Dec. 1, as Hotline’s 30th Annual Festival of Trees turns the Village Beach Club Early Spring into a Monte Carlo casino. Come out Fri. (9am-9pm) and Sat. (9am-12pm) to shop the annual holiday bazaar and eyeball gift-laden evergreens. But Sat. night’s Festival of Trees For venue and ticket info Gala is the high-rolling fun, with black jack, craps and roulette, 6-9pm, before the live visit bryanculturalseries.org auction goes crazy for conifers. Learn more at www.obhotline.org. • Get a jumpstart on the holidays, Nov. 30, when the Lighting of the Town Tree fills Downtown Manteo with carols, cocoa and community spirit from 5pm ‘til the sidewalks go silent. And Sat. Dec. 1, the street For more information visit party starts early when the 47th Annual Little Big Town Christmas Parade proceeds with holiday floats, marching bands, flying candy and a fire-truck-riding Santa. Line up by 10:30am. Details at www.townofmanteo.com. • Then march straight to Outer Banks Distillery at 510 Budleigh Street and snag a map (maybe a shot?) to visit Roanoke Island’s Our endowment managed by the most festive homes on The Manteo Preservation Trust’s 14th Annual Holiday Tour of The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. Homes, Dec 1. 12-6pm. Don’t wanna walk? Manteo Cyclery is donating bikes a first Theon Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. come, first serve basis. $20 tix. Learn more at www.manteopreservationtrust.com. • Put your Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. wee ones to work making gifts — and The sneak two hours to shop — when KDH Cooperative The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. Gallery’s Little Elves Workshop helps kids make heartfelt family presents in different mediums. $95. Dec. 1, 8, 15. 10am-12pm. Call 441-9888 to reserve space. • Buy rad gifts —
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endnotes elizabethangardens.org. • Manteo’s First Friday is extra festive at Avenue Grill, as they and gobble hot bushels — when the 3rd Annual Merry Market & Oyster Roast brings bring in Santa for photos from 5-7pm. Come back a week later for a royal good time at Dec. live music, killer food, epic deals and a supercool Santa to all the shops at KDH’s Seagate 14’s Christmas Queens Are Coming to Town Drag Show. Call 252-473-4800 for details. North, Dec. 1. Need the 411? Dial up Mom’s Sweet Shop at 252-441-6667. • Say “Happy • Outer Banks Hospital brings medical care to the masses all month long, including Fri.’s Birthday” to Corolla’s favorite beacon by climbing for free when the Currituck Beach Gentle Chair Yoga sessions at the Baum Center for Lighthouse turns 143 on Dec. 1. It’s also the last day folks battling and recovering from chronic illness of the season, but you can buy a season pass for 2019 Winter’s full of flockin’ events, including the Wings Over Water Festival, Dec. 7-9, (12pm-1pm; call 252-449-4529). On Dec. 13, The that includes entry to Island Farm in Manteo. 11amand the Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival, Feb. 22-24. Photo: Mark Buckler Health Coach offers Free Wellness Screenings at 4pm. Learn more at www.currituckbeachlight.com. The Marketplace in Southern Shores. (9am-12pm; • What’s The Great Yuletide Elf Hunt? Find out, call 252-449-7300 for appts.). On Dec. 14, The Dec. 1, by visiting participating Duck businesses, Cancer Resource Center’s “Coping with snagging a passport and poking around. Then head to Cancer During the Holidays” is open conversation Duck Town Park for the 7th Annual Duck Yuletide for all battlers and survivors. (12pm-1pm; call 242Celebration. From 3-5pm hear holiday music by Just 449-7300 to register.) And Dec. 17, the Baum Center Playing Dixieland and carols by First Flight High hosts a Better Breathers Club to help anyone with School students — plus see the lighting of the Crab COPD. (12pm-1pm, call 252-449-7300 to RSVP.) Pot Tree and an appearance by Santa. Details at Learn more at www.theobh.com. • Feeling fowl? www.townofduck.org. • Live tunes, local art — and Good. Because the Wings Over Water Festival local peeps — make the Outer Banks Brew Station returns, Dec. 7-9, just in time for cooler weather’s the place to be Dec. 1 & 2, as 10th Annual OBXmas increase in migratory birds. Get a full sched of events packs the bar with 40+ cool creative types between from Pea Island to Pocosin Lakes at www. both days, all to benefit Interfaith Community wingsoverwater.org. • Peep prime gifts and potent Outreach. More at www.obbrewing.com. • Sip potables, Dec. 8, when Trio’s Holiday Market serves a full spectrum of artists and artisans, bubbly and score deals at Elizabethan Gardens with Ladies’ Night at The Garden, Dec. 3 from jewelry to woodcrafts to candles to décor. (2-5pm; Free.) And circle back Dec. 22 for & 10. 5-7pm. Then show Fido some wonder, Dec. 5, when WOOFstocking at WinterLights adds special doggie vendors to the spectacle. 6-9pm (PS: Bring a treat for the Sparkling Soiree’s sampler of tasting stations paired with cheeses and tasty creations from the kitchen. 3-5pm; $30. More at www.obxtrio.com. • Fly south to Hatteras Village, Dec. 8, as Outer Banks SPCA, they’ll knock off $3). Fetch pricing and deets at www.
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the Hatteras Island Christmas Parade gathers a gaggle of floats by local businesses, fire departments, the US Coast Guard, and non-profit organizations in a joyful display of holiday plumage. 2-5pm. Get updates on Facebook. • And dip into Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum’s Holiday 2018, Dec. 8, for a shipload of family friendly fun from train displays to craft tables to puppet shows. Bring a food bank donation and get 5% off seasonal items. 12-5pm. More at www.graveyardoftheatlantic.com. • Or set a course for Colington Harbour, Dec. 8, when Colington Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade invites all vessels to deck the halyards with bows of halogenic holly. Learn more at www. colingtonyachtclub.com. • On Dec. 12 join OBX Green Drinks for lively conversation about environmental issues, expert speakers — and a couple cold ones at various locations — just like they do the second Wed. of every month thru May. 7pm. For details or to join the mailing list, contact OBXgreendrinks@gmail.com. • Who brings a can-opener to a knife fight? Find out Dec. 13, when Beach Food Pantry’s 5th Annual Holiday Chefs Challenge turns Duck Woods Country Club into a culinary cage match of canned goods and creative ideas — plus music, raffles and auctions to round out the fun. 6:30-10:30pm. $75 includes chefs’ creations, heavy hor d’oeuvres and an open bar to feed the non-profit’s piggy bank. Get deets — and limitededition VIP tix — at www.beachfoodpantry.org. • Satisfy your sweet tooth from 10,000 feet when the Candy Bomber returns to Roanoke Island, Dec. 14-16. Start with Fri. night’s Q&A with Col. Gail Halvorsen and crew at Manteo’s Dare Center, 7-9pm. On Sat., stop into Dare. Co. Regional Airport to tour the Spirit of Freedom. And on Sun., enjoy two re-enactments of the WWII candy drop — 1pm for ages 6 and under; 1:30pm for 7 and up — before Santa lands around 2pm. • Score two scoops of classic Vivaldi— as well as fresh arrangements of holiday carols — when Outer Banks Chorus performs Gloria at St. Andrews by-the-Sea (Dec. 15; 6pm) and Holy Redeemer Catholic Church (Dec. 16;
3pm.) Admission by donation. Learn more at www.obxchorus.org. • Canines go choral, Dec. 15, at Alligator River Wildlife Refuge’s Free Red Wolf Howling, 4:30-6pm. No rezzos necessary. Just pad over to Creef Cut Trail and keep your ears pricked. And Fri.’s Preschool Young Naturalist Program continues all winter long at Roanoke Island’s National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center (10-11am) — as do the Free Pea Island Bird Walks (89:30 am; except Dec. 7.) Or pay $10 and hop a Saturday Tram Tour to see all sorts of critters, Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 9 & Mar. 9. 9am-12pm; call 252-216-9464 to save a spot. • Before you hike Nags Head Woods this winter, be warned: bow season for whitetailed deer runs through Feb. 17. Be safe and respect the hunter by hiking only on designated trails and keeping pets leashed. Wanna take a shot? Sorry, Rambo. Registration is closed until next summer. • Beg Kris Kringle for gifts — or battle him for roast beef— when Elizabethan Gardens hosts Dinner with Santa, Dec. 15, 6-9pm. Rather add some dressing to your holiday decor? Try two workshops — Evergreen Wreathmaking 1 (Dec. 15) and Evergreen Wreathmaking II (Dec. 20) — where they provide the trimmings and instruction, and you bring the ribbons and bling. 10am-12pm. Call 252473-3234 to get deets, pricing and save spots. • Did you overnight any presents this holiday? Better thank Wilbur and Orville, Dec. 17, when the First Flight Society and the National Park Service host the 115th Commemoration of the First Flight at Wright Brothers National Memorial — including the 10:35 flyover. Plus, this year, Katherine Johnson — star of the movie Hidden Figures — will be inducted into the Paul Gerber Shrine. Free admission. Full sched at www.firstflight.org. • Even Amazon Prime don’t deliver on Christmas. If you’ve left any shopping ‘til Dec. 24, head straight to the annual KDH Co-Op Man Sale. From 10-2pm, they have expert staff standing by to point you toward the perfect gift — while you clink glasses with your fellow slackers. More at www. obxlocalart.com. • Take a few days to rest, because New Year’s Eve goes big Dec. 31,
endnotes — while you score free samples from catering friends — at Jan. 19-20’s 21st Annual Outer beginning with Downtown Manteo’s New Year in the New World. From 3pm on, bring Banks Wedding Weekend & Expo, the winter’s one-stop-shop for 130+ wedding vendors. the whole family for live tunes by killer acts — like the Songs From the Road Band — an Early Ball Drop for kids, and the state’s largest fireworks show. Visit www.outerbanks.org for $20. Get deets at www.obxwa.com. • Could your non-profit use a dowry? Apply for an the latest. (PS: pop into Avenue Grill for a New Year’s Eve DJ Dance Party at 10pm — and Outer Banks Community Foundation Grant by Jan. 25. Rather give some sweat-equity to the cause? Join the OBCF Annual Meeting, Feb. 19 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in KDH. front row seats for the pyrotechnic display. Call 252-473-4800 for details.) • In Kitty Hawk, 11:30-2:00pm. Learn more at www.obcf.org. • Bask in the generosity of the Outer Banks Trio’s New Year’s Eve Celebration pops the cork on 2019 with a ticketed Grand Reserve Forum for the Lively Arts — and enjoy bodacious bluegrass jams — when 2018 Tasting that pairs favorite wines with a special menu — then the whole place mixes to live Americana Instrumentalist of the Year, Molly music ‘til midnight. Get complete deets at www. Tuttle, brings her flat-picking prowess and velvet triowinebeercheese.com. • Duck’s The Village voice to First Flight High, Jan. 26. And come back screams, “Ewe!” with live music from Mama’s Black Mar. 2 to hear Latin America’s leading brass quintet, Sheep and a modified menu. Visit www. M5 Mexican Brass, blow the room away. All shows, villagetableandtavern.com for details and 7:30pm. $28. $15 students under 17. Full calendar, reservations. • And Outer Banks Brewing Station’s details and tickets at www.outerbanksforum.org. • On New Year’s Bash time-travels into 2019 with the Jan. 26, be at the Dare County Arts Council when always trippy Zack Mexico, complete with a four decades of community spirit and top-notch talent champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. (PS: jam together to unveil the 41st Annual Frank Stick you can keep raging the rest of the year with lots of Memorial Art Show at a TBD time. (Stays live thru live acts and weekly dance parties like Wed.’s Ladies Feb. 27.) On Feb.1, the Valentine’s From the Heart Night and Fri.’s 90’s Night with DJ Ohkay.) Full exhibit starts beating at 6pm and pumps through Feb. calendar at www.obbrewing.com. • Or get right on 28. And on Mar. 1, meet legendary local illustrator that resolution to lose weight by racing to Tortuga’s James Melvin as he reveals a month-long show of Lie Unofficial Beach Road 5k. No sign-ups necessary. masterpieces at 6pm. More at www.darearts.org. • 11pm start. Learn more on Facebook. • Need a little Wanna ensure a future of tasty meals, while helping hair of the scurvy dog? Join the OBX Pirates Parrot make birth defects a thing of the past? Be at Head Club at Hurricane Mo’s on Jan. 1. From 6-8pm, Jennette’s Pier, Jan. 27, for the 2019 March of Dimes local buffet heads join forces to support area charities. Signature Chefs Auction, where local foodies bid on If you can’t rally, there’s always Feb. 5 & Mar. 5. More at world-class culinary packages — while indulging in www.obxparrotheadclub.com. • Sanctuary Vineyards dishes by top local kitchens. Buy tix or support the has resolved to keep rocking in 2019, including a cause by calling 252-473-9199. • Make a mess of Winter Sunset Concert Series, every Fri. from Jan.yourself while supporting a clean coast when the NC April, beginning Jan. 4. From 5-8pm, head west to Coastal Federation Hatteras Island Oyster Roast watch live local bands as the sun drops — and soak up drops bushels and drawn butter all over Oden’s Dock some great vino. More at www.sanctuaryvineyards. on Feb. 2. Crack into www.nccoast.org for updates. • com. • Grab your singlet, headgear and the closest Make your sweetheart sweat a little this Valentine’s limb when The OBX Select Wrestling Club invites 10 Day when the 3rd Annual Love on the Run comes to high school teams from nearby states to First Flight Sanctuary Vineyards, Feb. 9. From 9-12pm you can High for 2019’s Battle at the Beach, Jan. 5&6. Follow chase each other around before crushing on wine at updates on Facebook. • We’re not sure exactly what the after-party. More at www.theobxrunningcompany. the Old Buck’s going on with Old Christmas this Fans of classical horn sections will wig out when the Outer Banks Forum for the com. • Love the sweet sounds of licorice sticks? On year, but feel free to put on a bull’s head and shuckLively Arts brings M5 Mexican Brass to First Flight High School on Mar. 2. Feb. 9, the Bryan Cultural Series brings a Clarinet around Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center Quintet to Kitty Hawk’s All Saints Episcopal Church for East Carolina University’s Four sometime near Jan. 6. Watch Facebook for the latest on this down-south tradition. • Crab Seasons Chamber Music Festival. 7pm. Tickets available Jan. 1. Find full deets at www. pots may make great trees — but they’re terrible anchors. Help NC Coastal Federation bryanculturalseries.org. • What the flock’s up with Feb. 22-24’s Hatteras Village Waterfowl clear the coast of marine debris at Jan. 12’s Fishing Gear Recovery Project. Keep tabs on www.nccoast.org for times and locations. • The Cultural Crossroads series continues at Kitty Festival? It’s a full weekend of decoys, painting, carving demos, bourbon tastings and more. Flap over to www.outerbanks.org for more plucking details. • On Mar. 8, paddle the hell out Hawk’s Universalist Unitarian Church of the Outer Banks, Jan. 12, with Billy Stevens’ presentation, “Sincere Forms of Flattery: Blacks, Whites and American Popular Music.” of the competition — and help a great cause — when the Dare Hospice Pickleball And come back Mar. 9 to hear moving words by Jaki Shelton Green, Poet Laureate of NC. Tournament comes to KDH’s Dare Parks & Rec. Age divisions go from 18 to 80+. Dollars support the Ongoing Grief Group, which meets every 2nd and 4th Mon., 7pm, at the 7pm. More at www.uucob.com. • And watch two men carry an entire play when Theatre of Baum Center. For details and registration, call Jodie Futch at 252-475-5057 or 252-426Dare does Tuesdays With Morrie at the Dare County Arts Council, Jan. 11-20. Then it’s 8785. • On Mar. 10, watch local athletes show serious mettle when the Outer Banks YMCA time for Shakespeare in Festival Park when A Midsummer Night’s Dream livens up hosts the Dare County Special Olympics Invitational Swim Meet. Come cheer winter, Feb. 22-Mar. 3. Get times, tix and auditions at www.theatreofdareobx.com. • It’s getting to be Shining season. Before you dismember the family, gather them up and head to Olympians from throughout NC and VA as they swim for the gold. Find updates on Facebook. • And finally, get ready to get your swerve on this spring, ‘cause the 30th Kelly’s Roanoke Island’s NC Aquarium Winter Carnival, Jan. 19, for an insanely fun day of games St. Patrick’s Day Parade weaves through Nags Head on Mar. 17, while the 2019 Taste of and activities. 10am -2pm. Gory details at www.ncaquariums.com. • Or roam the halls of the Beach cruises all over town for four days of special events, Mar. 28-31. First Flight High and watch brides-and-grooms bicker over the finer points of cake frosting
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