GOOD OLD DAZE Issue 9.3
Issue 9.3 milepost 1
Migrate to your
Happy Place Fishing
Serenity then is serenity now. Englehard, 2006. Photo: Dick Meseroll
IS IT graphiccontent just US? gosurf Or does everything feel a touch more intense?
As these words hit the page one week after Labor Day, cars keep pouring over the bridges, non-stop. (Wait, make that lotsof-stops.) Seasonal workers are still going bonkers from bus boys to pool girls. Beach boxes continue to fly off real estate listings, sight unseen. Even down south, longtime locals were spinning. Only, instead of barely staying afloat, they can barely keep up. It’s the kind of year that makes you pray for the offseason — assuming we get one.
If the economic forecasts are correct, we’ll be seeing a lot more people this fall. Maybe even this winter. Some folks are even opting to take permanent vacations — which makes it all too easy for some of us to want to take a vacation from them. To be honest, that’s how we ended up doing this issue’s photo feature. The spike in fresh energy had us running and screaming for old-school nostalgia. One call to a legendary surf photographer with a near 50-
year catalog, and soon we were wrapping ourselves in warm, worn blankies of classic beach cottages. Sucking on binkies made of empty peaks. Working our way back into a black-and-white fantasy womb, where everything was just a little more raw and a lot less developed. Coincidentally, at the same exact time, the sheer number of bodies — and clear lack of parking spots — forced us to break out of our own ironclad comfort zones. And, in the process, we rediscovered a lot of those familiar-yet-somehow-forgotten images in real time. A line of drenched, early morning soundside anglers anxious to pick off the season’s first flounder — downpour be damned. An empty afternoon session where some brokedown, oceanfront palace cast a sliver of shade on a nearshore lineup, doing its best impression of a pre-millennial Lighthouse. A random run-in with a friendly face, and toothy smile, not seen in years. None looked exactly the same as our photo
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feature’s images, of course. But they didn’t look totally different either. More like fresh shots of old friends. Or maybe a high school portrait of some local kid you never met, but who has the trademark features of a long respected family line you know well.
Each moment was a treasured reminder — and a cautionary tale.
Whatever the connection, each moment captured in time was a treasured reminder of this place’s perpetual magnetism — and a cautionary tale to not get stuck in the past as time marches on. Because the good old days aren’t just yesterday. They’re right now. And every lost hour we mourn is just another hour lost. — 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 your favorite photos to create a fantasy backdrop for future portraits; roll it up and pretend it’s a telephoto lens — then add some potassium chlorate and a freshly lit match to create your own powder flash. Or simply toss it on to that six-month stack of newspapers you’ve yet to recycle. (Trust us, you’ll feel better.) Then, send any and all feedback — positive, negative or just plain confused — to: email@example.com. We promise to find some way to re-purpose them.
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“Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true!” — Aesop “It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.” — Al Franken
Issue 9.3 FW ’ inter 2020/21 Cover: Developing Story Photos: Dick Meseroll
Reader You Brushes & Ink Carnell Boyle, John Butler, George Cheeseman, Marcia Cline, Carolina Coto, Cloey Davis, Michael J. Davis, Fay Davis Edwards, Mary Edwards, Laine Edwards, Marc Felton, Travis Fowler, Adriana Gomez-Nichols, Amelia Kasten, Chris Kemp, Nathan Lawrenson, Dave Lekens, Alex Lex, Tim Lusk, Ben Miller, Dawn Moraga, Ben Morris, Holly Nettles, Rick Nilson, Holly Overton, Stuart Parks II, Charlotte Quinn, Meg Rubino, Shirley Ruff, Noah Snyder, Janet Stapelman, Alyse Stewart, Kenneth Templeton, Stephen Templeton, George Tsonev, Bri Vuyovich, Christina Weisner, John Wilson, Mark Wiseman, Mike Zafra Lensfolk Nate Appel, Matt Artz, Chris Bickford, Russell Blackwood, Don Bower, Aycock Brown, Mark Buckler, Jon Carter, Garnette Coleman, Rich Coleman, Kim Cowen, Chris Creighton, Jason Denson, Amy Dixon, Susan Dotterer 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, Biff Jennings, Jenni Koontz, Mike Leech, Anthony Leone, Jeff Lewis, Jared Lloyd, Matt Lusk, Ray Matthews, Brooke Mayo, Mickey McCarthy, Nic McLean, Roger Meekins, D. Victor Meekins, Richard L. Miller, Dick Meseroll/ESM, David Molnar, Rachel Moser, Ryan Moser, Elizabeth Neal, Rob Nelson, Candace Owens, Crystal Polston, Daniel Pullen, Ryan Rhodes, Terry Rowell, Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan, Katie Slater, Tom Sloate, Wes Snyder, Aimee Thibodeau, Ed Tupper, Eve Turek, Chris Updegrave, Dan Waters, Kati Wilkins, Cyrus Welch, Jay Wickens Penfolk Ashley Bahen, Madeline Bailey, Sarah Downing, Laura Gomez-Nichols, Jim Gould, Steve Hanf, Dave Holton, Sarah Hyde, Catherine Kozak, Katrina Leuzinger, Hannah Lee Leidy, Dan Lewis, Terri Mackleberry, Fran Marler, Matt Pruett, Mary Ellen Riddle, Arabella Saunders, Corinne Saunders, Sandy, Semans, Shannon Sutton, Kip Tabb, Hannah West, Clumpy White, Sharon Whitehurst, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com Outer Banks Milepost is published quarterly (sorterly) by Suite P Inc. All contents are the property of Suite P Inc. and do not reflect the opinion of advertisers or distributors. Nor do their contents reflect that of the creative types (who would never, ever sell out). Comments, letters and submissions are usually welcome. Please include SASE for return delivery of all snail mail, however, Milepost and Suite P Inc. still aren’t responsible for any unsolicited materials. And don’t expect much else to move much faster than IST (Island Standard Time). Oh yeah: if you reprint a lick of this content you’re ripping us off. (Shame on you.) To discuss editorial ideas, find out about advertising or tell us we blew it – or just find out what the waves are doing – call 252-441-6203 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. www.outerbanksmilepost.com
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03 StartingPoint The natives are restless.
06 UpFront Voting rules, Billy shoots, and visitation booms. 20 GetActive Minority group makes major change. 23 P hoto Flash Back The Outer Banks’ golden years through the lens of Dick Meseroll. 32 GraphicContent OBX meets QVC. 44 QuestionAuthority Scott Dawson digs history.
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48 GoD&D Let’s roleplay. 50 FoodDrink Baking bread is making bread. 52 ArtisticLicense Brady Schwendeman’s wall of fame. 54 SoundCheck Chopping beats with Young Cutta. 57 OutThere It’s the thought that counts. 58 EndNotes Five months of future events.
“Phoenix Rising” By Alyse Stewart @alysestew.art “If you’d asked me last year, I would’ve said, ‘I’m going to be a painter — that’s it.’ I was actually headed to art school in California this fall — then COVID postponed all that. Now, I’m working in my parents’ studio, Silver Bonsai, doing 3D jewelry design and digital sculpture. I’m also doing a remote mentorship. This piece is actually an assignment. The inspiration is my mom — a phoenix rising has been her theme ever since my parents had to rebuild the gallery after Irene. I’d never done this loose, watercolor style, but I love how it turned out. And, what’s funny is now I want to do everything. I want to sculpt, to paint. To be able to jump from one medium to the other and combine things together. Because surviving isn’t just about not giving up. It’s about learning to evolve.” — Alyse Stewart
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upfront soundcheck TOO MUCH OF A GOOD getactive THING? The summer season really turned on — but will it ever turn off?
Wedding weekends canceled. Music festivals silenced. The Lost Colony shuttered. All spring, Outer Bankers wrung our sanitized hands behind a closed-off bridge, as waves of shutdowns buffeted our tourism economy. Then, in May, just as we mulled selling off grandma’s silverware, the governor lifted the “stay-at-home” order, the beach reopened to visitors… and BOOM! — the gates burst free. All summer, each week felt like Fourth of July, as if millions of pent-up city dwellers filled every house and patch of sand from Corolla to Hatteras.
“We didn’t expect what happened,” says Jimmy Anderson, president of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors. “We’re 60 percent above the total of last year. It’s unreal.” Ask someone on the Outer Banks how their summer went, and you’ll get similar responses. “Unreal.” “Crazy.” “Insane.” Most everyone is grateful — but also exhausted and overwhelmed.
“Even in good times, the restaurant industry on the beach is as challenging as it gets,” says Rusty Midgett, owner of Rusty’s Surf & Turf in Buxton. “So this year, we lost half our seats and, like most restaurants here, we have been forced to close two days a week due to lack of help. But the worst part is when I have to tell a guest that we’ve served for over ten years that I can’t accommodate them because there are no seats available.”
With the workforce already depleted by the lack of foreign students, the COVID risk added to the severe lack
of help. Meanwhile, new restrictions made it harder to meet the increased demand. Now add the extra cleaning requirements, fears of workplace exposure to the virus, and general confusion about rules and safety. But while there were rough patches going from zero to supersonic in a matter of days, Anderson says everyone stepped up to work longer hours and somehow managed to keep up. ‘We were really suffering in the beginning, because people had booked a year in advance,” he says. But whatever was lost early on in weekly rental cancellations, he says, has been more than made up for in new bookings.
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Some businesses even did better than ever. And while the impacts may vary between retailers and restaurants, rental companies and hotels, the overall visitation numbers have been certifiably gangbusters. Occupancy in June was a record $103,467,906, up 1.4 percent from the previous year, according to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, although year-to-date collections were down 17 percent compared to 2019. “I think it’s a reflection of what we’ve kind of come to understand about this summer,” says the bureau’s executive director, Lee Nettles.
Even more eye-popping for June, campground occupancy spiked 32 percent over last year. At the same time, meal tax revenue was down ten percent, which is actually not so bad considering that restaurants were limited to takeout only until mid-May, and then only at 50 percent capacity. Obviously, the Outer Banks was already well known as a safe, family oriented area with uncrowded beaches. The plentiful amount of weekly rental houses or Airbnb properties, which the traveling public prefers over the shared spaces of hotels, also made the area attractive. Meanwhile, the bureau kept promoting the Outer Banks’ host of outdoor activities and open spaces, such as Jockey’s Ridge and the grounds of Wright Brothers National Memorial. “Although we’re just a drive away, these barrier islands feel remote,” says Visitor’s Bureau website. “You could say we were socially distancing before there was such a thing.” Two other factors also influenced the flood of visitors during COVID: a popular Netflix series called “Outer Banks” — but actually shot in the Charleston, S.C. area — was released in April, boosting awareness with every binge watch. Then, in May, an article in Forbes magazine named the Outer Banks the No. 1 beach destination and the No. 1 overall destination that people Googled when doing online vacation searches. Citing a survey conducted by RENTCafé.com, a nationwide apartment search website and research blog, the article identified the Outer Banks as the “most resilient travel destination during the [COVID-19] lockdown,” based on the smallest decrease (-25 percent) in travel searches compared to March and April last year. Overall searches for vacation sites, it added, had dropped 64 percent. On the other hand, Nettles says that traffic on OuterBanks. org jumped 60 percent between mid-May and July. A good portion of those interested parties made their
way to Hatteras Island. Nettles didn’t have traffic numbers available from the visitors’ centers, but he said June visitation in Cape Hatteras National Seashore was 399,364, up four percent from last year, the second highest amount in the seashore’s 67-year history. And July was even busier, with 451,849 recreational visits, the highest recorded in 17 years.
“We’ve been busy, busy, busy,” he says.
Still, Nettles is quick to note that “the success we’re seeing isn’t necessarily translating across all businesses; it’s misleading to say the Outer Banks is killing it when there are folks who’re still feeling a lot of pain.”
“The climate has been a little more unusual,” Doughtie says. “People seem to get aggravated more. Maybe people are a little less tolerant.”
Campground occupancy in June spiked 32 percent.
One segment that’s categorically thriving: real estate. Sales skyrocketed all summer, spurred by COVID making people want to move away from urban areas. According to the July MLS Statistical Report, contract listings spiked 101 percent over the previous July. The market got so hot that many houses sold within days, forcing buyers into bidding wars that pushed prices even higher. Some people are moving here sight unseen, according to local realtors. Many people who are now working from home, with children learning remotely, are leaving their main residences to live fulltime at their second home at the beach — some permanently, some until the virus risk is gone. That means a heavier burden on local resources. In addition to the usual woes, such as year-round housing shortages, the public services are working harder, too. Faced with crowded beaches way beyond Labor Day weekend, Dare County’s towns and the National Park Service decided to extend lifeguard coverage as far out as October. And Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie says that deputies have had their hands full dealing with the sheer volume of people.
The offenses have not been unusual, just more of them — often related to substance abuse, erratic driving, domestic disturbances, and angry confrontations, including on the Hatteras beaches, he says.
But he says that most people here, even when visitors may be initially skeptical, don’t direct animosity toward law enforcement. “I think we have a great working relationship with people in the community,” he says. On the other hand, emergency management director Drew Pearson doesn’t see the added population of fulltimers adding to any more issues in terms of storm safety as hurricane season starts to peak. “We evacuate the county every summer weekend when people come and go,” he says. “They know how they got here, and they know how to get home.” Assuming they ever leave. At press time, the rental predictions through November remained well above average. As a result, local bizzes used to some semblance of slowdown in fall were bracing themselves for a long, busy season that could last into the holidays. Or not. “I think right now the Outer Banks is benefitting strongly from the angst people feel about visiting other places,” says Nettles. “But what happens once people feel safer traveling everywhere else? So between that and the election, the virus, school closings — I wouldn’t even hazard a guess of what’s to come. If anything, the Outer Banks teaches us to expect the unexpected. Anything can happen.” — Catherine Kozak
upfront This year’s not just a landmark election. It marks the hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted American women the right to vote. On August 26, 1920, Tennessee became the final state needed for the two-thirds ratification for the law to take effect. Reports of the time show just how much women’s lives were defined by their husbands and fathers a century ago. So when the amendment became law, women of the Albemarle were anxious to get involved.
soundcheck getactive startingpoint roadmap Signs of the times. Photo: NC State Archives
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Celebrating a century of Outer Banks women casting ballots.
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Such is the case of Mary Tom Basnight — Dare County’s first woman to register to vote. A lifelong Outer Banker, she was born Mary Meekins in 1896 to Ephraim and Martha Dough Meekins, of sturdy Roanoke Island stock. (Her father tended lighthouses — Cape Hatteras, Bodie Island, and Croatan Sound light near Manns Harbor — before ending his career collecting tolls on the “new” Roanoke Sound Bridge.) However,
when Mary married Thomas Basnight on October 17, 1914, she became known as “Mary Tom” to distinguish her from all the other Mary Basnights in the area — following the Outer Banks custom of adding a husband’s first name to avoid confusing two females with the same appellation. A few years after their nuptials, Thomas took a position in Norfolk working as a shipwright, so Mary registered to vote in North Carolina in order to cast an absentee ballot in the upcoming Presidential election. In an article published in The Coastland Times on the occasion of their 50th anniversary, Mary Tom Basnight recalled voting for President Woodrow Wilson. However, her memory was a little off — 1920’s grueling battle saw Republican Warren Harding defeat Democrat James M. Cox. But no matter. What counts is that she cast a vote. And so did 90 percent of white women in Dare County. Not all ladies were so lucky. Despite the Nineteenth Amendment, other barriers
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made sure women of color would not be able to exercise their new right without adversity. According to Dr. Liette Gidlow, professor at Detroit’s Wayne State University and a specialist in 20th century politics and women’s studies:
The Nineteenth Amendment officially eliminated sex as a barrier to voting throughout the United States. It expanded voting rights to more people than any other single measure in American history. And yet, [while it] advanced equality between the sexes [it] left intersecting inequalities of class, race, and ethnicity intact. You see, institutional racism was a component of the North Carolina constitution. Around 1900, a suffrage amendment was added to disenfranchise Black citizens; it stated would-be voters needed to be able to read any certain designated portion of the state constitution. However, in order to keep illiterate whites casting ballots, a Grandfather Clause was
written granting eligible voter status to anyone who descended from someone who was an eligible voter in 1869 — this date, of course, preceded the 15th amendment to the U.S. constitution that mandated voters could not be restricted due to race.
So, while more than 700 white women registered to vote in Elizabeth City in 1920, Black women were tepid. According to the Independent newspaper, “Colored women who doubted their ability to comply with the educational qualifications required by the Constitution did not attempt to register. Many colored women educationally qualified would not apply for registration, preferring disfranchisement to the humiliation of examination by hostile registrars.”
Today, women help guide dayto-day local life.
Still, Gidlow says that the 19th amendment “helped women, above all white women, find new footings in government agencies, political parties, and elected offices — and, in time, even run for president.” And it began working immediately. In 1920, Asheville’s Lillian Exum Clement became the first woman elected to the North Carolina State Legislature. Closer to home, 37-year-old widow Hattie Wescott of Wanchese became the first woman to run for office when she challenged Manteo’s A.C. Hassell for the title of Dare County Treasurer. She lost, but 64 years later, Dare County would see Louise Dollard elected to the Board of Commissioners, and rise to Chair in 1990. A dozen years after that,
Virginia Tillett became the first person of color on the BOC. Today, women sit on every town board. Moreover, they hold positions of influence across local government, working as town managers and county planners, guiding the day-to-day workings of Outer Banks life. But, there’s always room for more diversity. “Growing up in Manteo, you saw very few women in government,” says Manteo’s Mayor Pro-Tempore Betty Selby. “As women became bolder, more got elected. But we still need more diversity. And we need it so our children and grandchildren — female, Black, white, Hispanic, whoever — can see that and realize: ‘I’m able to serve. I’m equal to everyone.’” — Sarah Downing
Sources: “Dare Natives will soon Celebrate Their Anniversary,” Coastland Times, October 2, 1964; “First Registered Woman Honored by Dare League,” Coastland Times August 24, 1995; “First Woman in Dare Co. to Run for Office,” The Independent, October 29, 1920; “1,000 Women in County Register,” The Independent, October 29, 1920; “Beyond 1920: The Legacies of Woman Suffrage” by Liette Gidlow, www.nps.gov, accessed May 16, 2020.
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upfront soundcheck getactive startingpoint roadmap A cheering, jeering gokite look at recent events and their potential milepost impacts.
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED With just 21 beds, nobody said the Outer Banks Hospital was designed to do everything. But it can do more than facilities of similar size. In fact, in 2020, TOBH was the only “Critical Access Hospital” in the US to receive the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer’s 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award. Cheers on the trophy! (Now pray you never have to see them polish their skills.) BAIT AND SWITCH Coastal fishermen’s dreams of bigger artificial reefs began to founder this summer. For years, the plan was to dump tons of rubble from the old Bonner Bridge onto four underwater structures between KDH and Pea Island. But so far, the inlet’s proven too shallow to safely transport the excess weight. Now the state says they may
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cart the concrete to sites down off Carteret County, leaving local anglers and officials feeling hooked, lined and sinkered.
character and “sense of place” by making sure our favorite, timeless motels don’t become more tacky McMansions.
THERE GLOCKS THE NEIGHBORHOOD Remember when the whole “West Third” hood thing was just a dumb joke among KDH beach kids? This summer, the gag got way less funny when two non-fatal shootings occurred on the wrong side of the bypass just ten days apart. Both were situations between angry young men that escalated from tough talk to, “Shots fired!” Wanna stay alive? Leave the piece at home. And stop poppin’ off at the mouth.
UP WITH PEOPLE Raise the roof for the Cape Hatteras Methodist Men! The beloved non-profit spent months swinging hammers and raising trailers as part of a repetitive loss reduction effort aimed to protect future homes and lower long-term insurance costs. The Outer Banks Community Foundation gave $200k to support the work, but every fresh stack of dollars lifts another homeowner. Learn how to donate at www. hatterasmethodistmen.org.
DO NOT DISTURB Fans of old school vibes and classic hotels might have reason to sleep easier this fall. On Oct. 7, Nags Head will hold a public hearing as they consider giving the Sea Foam, Colonial Inn, and seven more “legacy” lodgings greater leeway when it comes to upgrades. The goal? To preserve town
DEATH AFTER DISCO Yesterday’s meat market is tomorrow’s supermarket? That was supposed to be the tale of Kelly’s after the beloved restaurant/ dance club — and local favorite for late night hook-ups — sold to the German grocery chain Lidl, in 2017. Three long years
later, the company decided moving here is too much trouble, and now this hot property is back on the market with no winning prospects — a perfect metaphor for single life as we head into winter. SICK NEWS Looks like all that mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing paid off. Despite two tragic deaths, the COVID numbers stayed surprisingly manageable all season. Was it the windy, open spaces? Frequent sun-and-saltwater baths? Hard to say. But as the weather turns — and we spend more time indoors — safe personal practices will be the key to keeping everyone healthy. (PS: Feeling sick? Just concerned? Get info on testing at www.darenc.com/covid19.) SLICK MOVE Or is it just being slippery? In a moment of political prescience, President Trump announced he would extend the moratorium on offshore drilling off Florida, South Carolina
and Georgia, taking a caustic campaign issue off the table before early voting began. At the same time, he left coastal citizens from NC north wondering why our shores and economies aren’t equally worthy of lasting protection. Is it ’cause Cooper’s a Democrat? Or that Tillis is an oil man? Or was he just waiting to grease Tarheel voters closer to Nov. 3? Guess we’ll find out. One thing’s certain: half measures aren’t gonna protect anyone in the end, because oil spills don’t follow state boundaries. (Or party lines.) PAGING DAVID HASSELHOFF Got your red trunks handy? Local lifesavers might need extra help, as every town — and even the Park Service — opted to extend ocean rescue services to account for the bump in fall visitation. KDH and Nags Head are even manning stands and ATV’s halfway into October. That’ll take a load off surfers and other unofficial rescuers for a couple of weeks. The one question remaining: how long will the beach showers keep working?
BREAKING THE SCALE Add a hyper-active tropical season to 2020’s list of woes, as we’re fixin’ to break the alphabet again. But more troubling than the number of named systems is how warmer waters are causing “rapid intensification,” leading to stronger-than-predicted storms that blindside both experts and coastal communities. This August, Hurricane Laura went from 85 mph to 150 mph in less than a day, making landfall as a Cat 4 instead of a Cat 2. Last year, Dorian increased from 150 mph to 185 mph in just nine hours. So don’t get too cocky as we head into peak season. Tonight’s tropical storm could be Cat 3 by dawn. And that’ll smash more than just a few records.
For detailed reports on these stories and breaking local news on a daily basis — plus plenty of local discussion — visit www. outerbanksvoice.com, www.islandfreepress. org, www.obxtoday.com, and www. thecoastlandtimes.com.
SMART-ASS COMMENT OF THE MONTH
“‘Larger than normal visitors’?... Some of them are already quite large. Y’all expecting some elephants?” — VladTheImpalerSr, “Dare towns extend lifeguard service into fall,” Sept. 3, 2020, OuterBanksVoice.com
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Kelly Moody, 41 Art Dealer Kill Devil Hills “Candy corn is completely terrible. Also, pumpkin pie…and pumpkin spice. It’s all overrated!”
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Ken Bullard, 49 Roofer Kill Devil Hills “There’s not too much around the holidays I won’t eat, but I won’t touch potato salad if it’s got those big, hard chunks of potatoes in it.”
Seth Austin, 30 Fish Monger Colington “Watergate salad. It’s that Jello-y thing with all the extra stuff, like pineapple chunks packed into it, and it’s usually neon green. It’s just so gross.”
Sharon Anderson, 65 Reuse Consultant Kill Devil Hills “I absolutely, positively hate sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I hate the flavor, I hate the texture, and then they have the audacity to call it a vegetable after all that.”
“What holiday food do you hate the most?” William Durand, 43 Roofer Kill Devil Hills “I can’t handle cranberry sauce. The texture is terrible; it feels weird in your mouth, and the taste is just as bad.”
Sara Hill, 17 Candy Slinger Currituck “Pickled yams. I just can’t stand the smell. They smell like vinegar, but they are supposed to be sweet!”
Michael Melson, 31 Liquor Lad Kill Devil Hills “My aunt’s macaroni salad. It’s mac-n-cheese that’s pink and has marshmallows in it, and it’s packed with sugar. First time I had it, I spit it out at the table right in front of her.” POP-UP
Alex Flowe, 16 Candy Slinger Moyock “Black eyed peas. I almost threw up the last time I ate them.” Interviews and images by Tony Leone
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These little fellas can sneak up overnight. Naturally made, but not really born. Super creepy, but not very mobile. Definitely not a fun guy to step on. Up to your gills in potential guesses? Bust an answer to email@example.com. One lucky winner will score a Full Send Half Day Adventure at Corolla Adventure Park, which includes up to four Full Access climbing passes, one hour of axe throwing, and a round of beverages from the bar — choice of beer, root beer float, or two scoops of ice cream for each participant. (PS: Congrats to Nick Steben for correctly rolling into last issue’s answer: a photo of Buxton Skate Park by Daniel Pullen.)
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VOTING BY MAIL
Not blue or red. Left or right. Even up or down. In a population this politically purple, it would be publishing suicide to push one POV. (Besides, that’s Facebook’s job.) But! We’ll always make damn sure both sides know how to cast a ballot. Because, whether it’s marking a box wrong, biffing your polling station — or forgetting to slap an extra stamp on an envelope — in an election this punishing, one missed punch will leave a hell of a bruise.
With record numbers of mail-in ballots expected, the key to voting absentee is getting yours in early. (That means requesting a mail-in ballot well before the October 27 cut-off.) That being said, you don’t wanna jump the gun and rush so much you make sloppy mistakes. Be sure you fill out every section, from the front of the envelope to the inside — including all spots for witness signatures and addresses — and completely fill in all ovals. (No check marks or X’s!) Then, once you’re positive everything’s perfect, slap two first class stamps on it to cover all the necessary postage and mail it out ASAFP. “The ballot itself must be post marked by 5pm on election day,” says Dare County Board of Elections Chairman, Sandy Semans Ross. “But if it goes through a major sorting office, it might not get postmarked till the next day. So, if you’re going to mail it that close to deadline, have the post office hand stamp it.” Why risk it? Between October 15-31, you can hand deliver your ballot to one of the early voting stations that follow. And for those who are unable to get out — for example, seniors in assisted living facilities or just living alone — call 252-475-5631 and ask the BOE to send a “Multi-Partisan Assistant Team” to your house. They’ll make sure your mail-in ballot gets signed, sealed and delivered. Most importantly, before you mark a single box, make sure you understand the candidates and issues by doing your research — a good place to start is www.vote411.org.
graphiccontent gosurf outthere gohunt rearview
ELECTION DAY, NOV. 3
Wanna cast a ballot in person — but don’t wanna hang out in line? From October 15-31, you can vote early at Kill Devil Hills Town Hall; Cape Hatteras Secondary School Auditorium in Buxton; or the Administration Building in Manteo. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-7:30pm; Saturday, October 17 & 24, 8am-6pm; October 31, 8am-3pm. (NO SUNDAY VOTING!) Warning!!! If you haven’t registered to vote by October 9, these dates are also your only chance to register and request a ballot simultaneously. The good news? You’ll have plenty of time and opportunity. And, in all cases, the key to avoiding a crowd is to vote as early as possible. “The heaviest voting day is always the Saturday before the election,” says Semans Ross. “But we have so many early voting days with long hours, there are times that aren’t busy at all. And we’re adding a tremendous number of poll workers, because we really want to limit the amount of time that voters are inside.” No matter the day, don’t worry about sharing too much personal space voting in-person. All people and kiosks will stay at least six feet apart, with plenty of PPE at high-traffic points. There are even masks onsite in case you forget yours — though you don’t have to wear one if you’re staunchly opposed — plus plenty of careful steps to keep every surface germ-free. “We’ll be sanitizing each station between voters,” says Semans Ross. “Instead of handing out ‘I voted’ stickers, everyone will receive a pen to take home.”
Big on tradition? Or just a hopeless procrastinator? Come November 3, there’s just 13 hours left to cast a ballot — polls stay open from 6:30am-7:30pm — and only if you’re already registered. (See previous OneStop info.) Unlike the early voting options, every person must go to the assigned polling place attached to their address. This year, that might be someplace new as the county’s transitioned to larger spaces to allow for max social distancing. Go to www.darenc.com to find your polling place. And if you flake, try the closest public school, such as Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Nags Head Elementary, Manteo High, First Flight Middle, or Kitty Hawk Elementary. “Colington will split the First Flight Middle School gym with KDH,” says Semans Ross. “Buxton and Frisco will share Cape Hatteras. And Southern Shores will be at Kitty Hawk Elementary.” But it’s the days after voting that will likely be the most challenging. Ask any pundit: with the countrywide increase in mailin voting — and properly post-stamped mail-in ballots accepted until the Friday after election — we could very likely wake up on November 4 without a clear presidential winner. That’s no flaw; that’s a positive sign of a political process working hard to count every vote. Instead of panicking, try to stay patient. And avoid endzone dancing over final results. Because no matter what happens — in a population this purple — half your neighbors are gonna be hurting. And a little humility will help us all heal faster.
Thank You outer Banks
252-441-7983 1314 S. Croatan Hwy – MP 9 1/2 Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
2020 milepost 17
On the Road to Corolla There are Treasures to Behold
Just Outside the OBX on highway 158 south of the VA/NC state line you’ll find an award-winning winery, Sanctuary Vineyards, offering both tours and tastings, and NC’s first craft brewery, The Weeping Radish, offering unique farm-to-fork fair to those who know good food. Come see why your vacation begins on the road to Corolla.
Call 877.287.7488 for more information, driving directions or a free visitors guide milepost
Corolla • Carova • The Mainland
Visit us online at VisitCurrituck.com
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Dare Minority Coalition demonstrates how standing together can strengthen a community.
On June 9, local law officers, elected officials, religious leaders, and 500plus citizens gathered in Manteo for “Moments of Silence for Victims of Police Violence.” Purposefully scheduled on the day of George Floyd’s funeral — an unarmed Minnesota Black man killed while being arrested last May — it was a stunning show of community solidarity. No violent clashes. No hateful rhetoric. It was Outer Bankers of every background mourning needless deaths, while peacefully decrying all forms of racism.
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“It was wonderful,” says Ebony Selby, who helped organize the event as vice-president of the Dare Minority Coalition. “I’m still in awe of the response.” More impressive? The nonprofit is barely two years old. Furthermore, demonstrations weren’t in their original plans. When the group formed in October 2018, its primary goal was to encourage young people of color to vote in the oftenoverlooked municipal elections, where turnout is traditionally dismal. “Particularly for African Americans,” says Rashad Daniels, coalition president. “So, we’re trying to raise that [number].”
But while June’s gathering may have been a one-day event, it continues to rally support. According to coalition executive director and founder, George Carver, as of August, 31 individuals had filled out online applications to become members and/ or volunteer. One of them — Annalee Lanier — hopped online to join the next day, and immediately streamlined ways for other people to join by converting the downloadable PDF into a digital form. Since then, the professional graphic designer has created a new logo for the coalition, helped organize its handbook and worked broadly on updating its digital content. After such an isolating year because of COVID-19, Lanier says, “It’s nice to be engaged in the community in something meaningful.” The rally also galvanized longtime civic leaders. As executive director of the Outer Banks Relief Foundation, Patty McKenna already puts in long hours helping those in need. But after the moment of silence, she saw issues and faces that don’t receive as much attention. “When I reflected on what I was seeing in the media in regard to police brutality,” McKenna states, “I said, ‘I need to give where I live and make a difference.’”
presents “Come together, right now.” DMC’s Manteo rally galvanized a diverse range of local stakeholders. Photo: Chris Bickford
The Art of
Resources App, which will offer a directory of businesses willing to hire persons with records, along with programs, classes, nonprofits, churches, and other resources to put a broad support system at their fingertips. He plans to launch the app in February 2021.
DON BRYAN Exhibition and Sale
Ultimately, Carver dreams for the app’s proceeds to go toward supporting the organization financially and also donate back to the nonprofits participating in the app. More immediately, the coalition is focused on the fall election. That means brainstorming virtual ways to connect folks with local candidates and issues — and making sure they go cast a ballot. “The main focus right now is getting people out to vote,” Daniels says. “Because in order to do the other things we want to do, we have to have the correct people in office.” She joined as both a member and volunteer, as has former director of the Dare County Arts Council, Laura Martier. She is helping the coalition with grant writing, but also wants to compile numbers to better show inequities. “The qualitative stuff is kind of easy to grasp; we need to back this up with quantitative data,” Martier says. “Even though we’re Dare County and we’re small, there’s a lot of stuff going on here that’s concerning.” But community outreach is just one of the coalition’s missions. They also plan to work on affordable housing, including one goal of constructing long-term rental units in Manteo. Housing would be available on a sliding scale for a range of people, including “veterans or returning citizens who have been discriminated against,” Carver says. The other goal is to help former inmates successfully reenter society by connecting them with potential jobs and other resources. Carver’s currently in the process of developing the United Re-Entry
But the best thing about being in such a young organization is the goals, issues and methods remain malleable. And the coalition welcomes new perspectives.
“We’re all the same. We’re all in this together.”
OCTOBER 5 - 29, 2020
— Rashad “We’re not trying to be out here like Daniels we’re the know-itall, be-it-all,” Selby says. “We’re getting advice and listening to people about what they think needs to be changed.”
The Series offers its inventory of paintings by Don Bryan for sale by silent auction.
Dare Minority Coalition strives to uplift not just the Black community, but all minorities, including other people of color, women and the LGBTQ community, Daniels notes.
Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery 210 E Driftwood St, Nags Head, NC 27959
This is a unique opportunity to own original art by one of the Outer Banks preeminent artists.
“We’re all the same,” he says. “We’re all in this together. We shouldn’t have issues where someone is disadvantaged.” — Corinne Saunders
For additional information about this event or our future plans visit
Our endowment managed by the
The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking.
Wanna join the cause? To learn how to donate funds or volunteer The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking. skills — including how to support or participate in the United ReEntry Resources App — visit www.dareminoritycoalition.com. The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking.
The Best Bankers. Hometown Banking.
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Five decades of Outer Banks magic Photos & Captions by
ho is Dick Meseroll? Arguably the most influential surf photographer to hail from the East Coast. In the 70s and 80s, the New Jersey native “made his bones” chasing storms and shooting contests from Maine to Miami, ultimately earning staff positions at both Surfing and Surfer magazines. In 1991, he co-founded Eastern Surf, a regional publishing powerhouse for the next quarter-century. In that time, he visited the planet’s most exotic island chains — the Caribbean, Cape Verdes, Galapagos, Azores — and yet? “The Outer Banks is by far where I’ve expended the most time and film,” says the legendary lensman known fondly as “Mez.” “No other place is in the same league — or even the same solar system.” Perhaps because that’s how he fell in love with island lifestyle. In 1970, he and two high-school buds drove straight to Hatteras for a spring break surgical strike. They ended up camping out for two weeks. “This was when the whole free-as-a bird surfer hippie thing was huge,” Mez recalls. “People were camping all over Hawaii and Baja. On the East Coast, Hatteras was that spot. It was more than a surf trip. It became a seminal moment in my life.” Instead of heading to college, Mez started hopping planes. He also picked up a camera. Before long, he and his photos were circling the globe. But through it all, something about the Outer Banks kept pulling him back. A major swell. A big assignment. Or just the whisper of some new sandbar. Each time, he immersed himself for as long as possible. Five decades later, flipping through Mez’s Outer Banks catalog is like watching a time lapse film on a vintage projector. It fits and starts between classic soul and modern sizzle. Brimming with nostalgia. Depicting a shimmering, coastal culture that stays in constant flux — yet never loses its infinite magic.
Cape Hatteras Light. 1976.
“Of course it changes — it’s Hatteras!” says Mez. “But there’s still a lot of mystery and romance left. That’s the reason I fell in love with the place. And it’s the reason I keep coming back.” milepost 23
hurricane belle. 1976.
RIDING THE STORM milepost
Buxton Weather Station. 1973.
n 1976, I chased Hurricane Belle down to Hatteras with some homeboys and homegirls. We stayed in the Cape Pines Hotel. Around dark, the road started to flood, and the sheriffs knocked on our door: “What are you guys still doing here? Are you crazy?” We said, “This is what we came for!” They couldn’t make us leave, so they tried to scare us instead: we all had to sign a piece of paper with our addresses, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, so they could notify our next of kin. That night Belle brushed right by. It blew like stink — 100 mph or more. The next afternoon, the Lighthouse was huge — and hollow. The local boys were charging. No leashes. Lots of carnage. And I got my first big story in Surfing.
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But my relationship with Hatteras was more organic than chasing magazine shots. We’d dash south at the drop of a hat — whether we knew there were waves coming or not. We didn’t have surf forecasts. We didn’t go online — we knocked on the door of the Buxton weather station. They had those old teletype maps pinned to a bulletin board, and they were always willing to answer questions. Fishermen used it. Surfers used it. I’m sure boat captains used it. We’d stop by a couple of times a day sometimes. Of course we still got skunked a lot, but that didn’t stop us from making the drive. We weren’t bummed. It was an adventure.
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esa easterns. 1988.
Kelly Slater. 1984.
miss this perspective. There was nothing like having the ESA Eastern Championships in Buxton — especially when the Lighthouse was perched right at the water’s edge. Where else could you surf in the shadow of something so magnificent? I still put it right up there with the Empire State Building in my list of iconic structures. Maybe because it produced so many iconic surfers, who traveled to compete and commune every fall — including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater — who’s credited Hatteras with being crucial to developing his competitive acumen and tube-riding ability. I’ve had lots of Kelly shots published over the years. Posters. Covers. But this Rodanthe Pier water shot might be my favorite. And what I like most is his expression. See those eyes? He’s already looking 50 yards down the line — or 20 years into his future.
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don’t know anything about fishing, but as a surfer I can appreciate the lifestyle. We share the same piers. The same shorelines. The same cold winter days and early morning hours. The same passion, really. This was a rare July visit for me. The waves were flat, so I got up before dawn to chase a sunrise shot. Avalon Pier was already hopping, and the summer atmospherics were on fire — perfect for producing these crazy colors. In recent years, I’ve enjoyed quite a few evening shoots at Avalon — followed by a few sunset beers. Each time I think back on this image. It’s like a fishermen’s Endless Summer: two committed watermen, sharing a special moment with Mother Nature. Isn’t that what we’re all after?
avalon pier. 1988.
What’s my favorite Buxton watering hole? The Red Drum, baby. Always good for a cold one and some cashews after a long day on the beach — or in this case — in the ocean. I’d just spent the afternoon shooting from the water when I pulled into the parking lot and saw this huge tiger shark in the bed of a truck. I said, ‘Holy shit! That’s a photo!’ So I ask the guy, ‘Hey! Where’d you catch that thing? The Point?’ He goes, ‘Nah. Too crowded, so I drove back north to the very last ramp.’ I ask when and he says, ‘An hour ago.’ I do the math and realize I was swimming less than a mile away. Talk about a revelation! [Laughs] But if he’d told me he caught it in Frisco two days earlier, it’d still be too close in my book.
tiger shark. 1980.
WHAT LIES BENEATH milepost 29
Rodanthe Pier. 1984.
Patrick Herrle, Topper Parlett, Tom Watkins. 1991.
OUTER BANKS HUNT CLUB milepost
ike a lot of people, Hatteras is where I first fell in love with driving on the beach. There’s nothing better than bouncing around Down South, sniffing out new sandbars. I’m also a sucker for VWs. So when I saw this old bug buzzing Rodanthe Pier — proudly proclaiming ‘IB Surfing’ — I held the trigger down. If only the license plate said ‘North Carolina, it would be perfect. Not that I have anything against Virginians. Some of my favorite Outer Bankers are Virginians! — just kidding. But I do have to thank the Wave Riding Vehicles crew for first plugging me into the local scene. In 1985, I was shooting VB’s Wes Laine for a Surfing profile.
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We stayed with Patrick Herrle, who was running the factory. He said, ‘Come down anytime you want, for as long as you want.’ After that, I’d come spend a whole month in his Kitty Hawk trailer. One night, their airbrusher, a guy named Big Jim Simms, was driving home through Currituck and a deer jumps out and slams into the car, leaving him upside down in a ditch. The boys got him home safe — then came back with the deer! I knew they all hunted, so I said, ‘Grab your guns’ and we staged this photo. We goofed around and got a few more shots, then they swung it from a little oak tree out front, and field dressed the son of a bitch. We ate venison for a couple of weeks on that one.
KHSURF.COM • (252) 441-6800 milepost 31
OBX-PLOITED What these fools are selling, you shouldn’t be buying.
A Netflix soap opera filmed in South Carolina. A flashy Ford Bronco that “looks great on the trail”— and probably gets stuck in the sand. For some reason, marketing gurus love to slap the name “Outer Banks” on slick products with lots of flash but zero local appeal. Why? Because appropriating beach cultures is cooler than ever. And as our digital satirical friends at The OBX Report so perfectly zing: “The brand we’ve spent decades to build has intentionally not been trademarked. Unfortunately for us that means any multinational corporation can plop it on their overpriced jeep.” So, why stop at daily drivers and teen dramas? Here’s a handful of potential products sure to make some sales tool drool — but no Outer Banker would ever buy.
Outer Banks Neckties
Outer Banks Fish Stix
“Turn your freezer into a ‘Graveyard of the Atlantic.’”
Fishy? This idea downright stinks — actually, it doesn’t. And that’s just one of suspicious. In a town that turns up its nose at “tailpipe tuna,” it’s hard to imagi puppy drum popsicles — even less likely that we’d slap our toothless grins on half the fun of fishing isn’t necessarily the eating — it’s the catching. So, if you include a cooler of beer with each purchase.
In a world where the whole week is “flipflop Friday,” there’s not much use for the old “corporate noose.” Family funerals. That one formal wedding. Most likely? Court. Hell, we’re lucky our elected officials even wear shirts. (In some cases, really lucky.) But if a blackand-white barber pole makes some DC cubicle-dweller feel more “OBXy,” every Macy’s will order a metric ton of striped ties — meanwhile, the KDH Belk’s will sell maybe one. And only if it comes in clip-on.
“For that once-every-decade formal event.”
Outer Banks ain’t
“Dental erosion is nothing to smile about.”
Whitening agents? Cold-sensitive compounds? You kidding? Coffee sta folks who brush with Marlboros and rinse with shorebreak. The top-two parts? Police roadblocks — and last-call hook-ups. (And half the time yo sure someone squeezes a tube into their medicine cabinet, or most like Goldschläger — or at least a good “nummy.”
OBX Non-Alcoholic Beer “Putting the ‘NA’ in Outer Banks.”
You’d have to be pretty hammered to think locals would lick their lips for a buzz-less brew. Hell, the legs on this scheme are shakier than Avalon Pier during a hurricane party. On the other hand, with a pandemic making cabbies and Ubers tougher to find — and pricy as hell — a six-pack of placebos might just be the key to a sober chauffer. Otherwise, put a 5-cent return on every bottle, and they might turn a dime in the middle of March.
OBX Razors for men “Life on the edge is never dull.”
Meet the second worst example of single-use plastics on the whole Outer Banks. You can sort of repurpose bags — razors you’ll be lucky to see used once, as slow winters and laziness just make facial hair farming a way of life. In fact, if six of these chin whisker cheese graters saw a square inch of lather, we’d be surprised. But at least you can pass leftovers onto future generations.
the things that makes this species ine Outer Bankers backing boxes of n the packaging. Plus, everyone knows u wanna empty this freezer, you better
ains and toothaches don’t scare o uses for toothpaste in these ou still won’t get lucky.) To make ely the glove box, it better taste like
Outer Banks Drug Test
“The at-home test that just says yes.” Six substances? That’s it? What about the poppers and PCP? Nitrous and airplane glue? This is a town where restaurants have to lock up the ReddiWhip cans. Where churchgoers “chief” before Sunday service. Sure, maybe some concerned parent might say, “Pee in a cup” — because Mom can’t rightly yell, “Who’s raiding my stash!?” So why piss your money away? Everyone knows they’re already high.
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Buxton Bleachers. 1988. Buxton Bleachers Revisited. 2018.
call this one, ‘Welcome to Buxton, now go the f&k home.’ [Laughs] If you think the local boys are protective today, you should’ve seen them back in the 80s. They didn’t like seeing any outside surfers. And they really didn’t like outside photographers. Needless to say, I saw this look a lot. Over the years, I got to know the boys a bit better. In fact, Russell Blackwood, on the right, became a key contact and photo contributor to ESM. From what I understand, the lineup’s a little more mellow today — and a lot more crowded. But the pecking order is still holding strong. So are the traditions. Last time I shot the Lighthouse, I found the next generation of smiling regulators — including Russell’s son, Wolfie, again on the right — keeping watch from the very same dune.
LOVE AT FIRST JETTY milepost 35
Lisa Andersen. 1988.
Hatteras Island Surf Shop. 1978.
REAL AUTHENTIC BEAUTY milepost
y the late 80s, I relocated to Florida to be closer to the pro scene. I was traveling the globe with international talent, but the Outer Banks was always beckoning. In 1988, Billabong wanted some clothing shots for a new ad campaign starring Lisa Andersen — before she won her first world title and redefined women’s surfing. Neon was still huge, and they were looking to do something more rustic. Organic. Natural. I was looking for an excuse to get back to Hatteras. So, she hopped in the Pathfinder and away we went. I’d photographed this storefront many times over the years, thinking, ‘Someday that place will come
Ki tty Hawk’s Favorite L egend serving lunch and dinner year round
Panoramic ocean views from our dining rooms and outdoor deck
We Specialize in Weddings and Special Event On-Site Catering in handy.’ My bigger concern was Lisa. She was as hardcore as a surfer gets, and always quite the tomboy. I wasn’t sure how’d she take to a full-on fashion shoot. But she was totally down for it. She picked out some outfits, struck some casual poses. And — pow! — I got more shots than we could ever use. A real pro. Within a few years, she’d be the face and the brains — the muse — behind the world’s most respected women’s surf brand: Roxy. Looking back, it’s easy to see why. She and Hatteras share the same appeal: naturally beautiful but a little bit raw. Impossible to control — entirely too easy to fall in love with.
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3848 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949 email@example.com • blackpelican.com • (252) 261-3171 milepost 37
Duck's walkable village has everything you could want or need, from stores to galleries and eateries. Stroll along the boardwalk or the pedestrian path and discover the pace of our coastal town. 2020 has thrown some challenges our way but hasn’t affected the spirit of Duck!
For more information on businesses, a shopping guide, and special events and promotions held by Duck Village Merchants, visit doducknc.com CROSSWALK
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kite point. 2007.
here’s still a lot of that classic, Outer Banks color around, particularly south of Oregon Inlet. From Pea Island all the way down to Hatteras Village, you never know what you’ll see on the side of the road, especially around sunset, when the sky is sure to put on a show. In the old days, Canadian Hole would be a flotilla of sailboards — now the sky’s swarming with kites. That’s technology. Same goes for photography. I’ve learned to widen my focus from film to digital to drones to infrared, which uses the invisible light wavelengths to give natural hues a ghastly, spectral look. These days, I keep my head on a swivel. And if you just slow yourself down a little bit, photos pop up every milepost. It’s a wonderland place to shoot.
ramp 43. 2006.
ROAD SIDE ATTRACTIONS milepost 39
Nags Head. 1990. Bodie Island. 2018.
y first trip here, I fell in love with the place — to put it mildly. It was a much different place then, obviously. Way less development. And what was there was pretty old and funky. That changed pretty quick. It’s a shame to see that being replaced by four stories, 30 bedrooms, saunas on every floor. As I approach turning 70, I get sad thinking of all the stuff I could’ve shot — and didn’t. Recently, I’ve made a point of documenting some of the classic architecture. I’ve also dug back into Polaroid technology. Fiftyyear-old film and questionable chemicals can give the most modern shot a vintage feel. But when I think of the Outer Banks, this is what I think of: cedar shakes, hurricane shutters, lots of empty sand. And that name — Arrogantly Shabby. Can you pick a more perfect description of the local ethos?
OLD SCHOOL VIBE milepost 41
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n all my travels, I’ve never seen such a tight community spread over such a long distance. When the right spot turns on, you’ll cross paths with lifelong surfers from Kitty Hawk to Frisco. And they all respect each other. What makes the place more special to me than shooting photos or chasing waves are the friendships I’ve made. Guys like Mickey McCarthy, who could’ve copped an attitude when I showed up with a camera — instead he shared his secrets. He shared his home. That’s what makes the Outer Banks so unique: the place makes the people, the people make the place. Because, while your birth certificate may say Virginia or Jersey or Florida — wherever — once you sink in your roots, you’re an Outer Banker. Will I ever visit Easter Island, again? Nope. Brazil? Doubtful. Cape Verdes? Probably not. But this is a place I’ll always come back to, until I can’t go back no more.
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Homegrown historian Scott Dawson may have solved America’s oldest mystery. But he’s not done digging yet.
You know the tale. In 1587, English explorer John White left behind 115 settlers on Roanoke Island, including his own granddaughter — Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World. When he came back three years later on a resupply mission, the colony had vanished, leaving the word “Croatoan” carved on a post.
That much we can all agree on. It’s what happened to those illfated immigrants that remains a matter of debate, as a range of experts hunt for clues using everything from digital mapping to DNA, genealogy to shovels and sifters.
Some say they migrated to “Site X” — a proposed fort between Edenton and Plymouth that never came to fruition. Others believe they shacked up with the Lumbee tribe even farther west. But ask Hatteras Island native and amateur historian/archeologist Scott Dawson, and he’ll say they’re all wrong, that the colonists were never lost at all. That they sought refuge among Hatteras Island, home to Manteo’s more familiar friendly tribe. And moreover, that the “cryptic” carving was actually a very clear set of directions.
“I don’t know why, but somewhere along the line they decided to teach in schools that nobody knows what the word ‘Croatoan,’ means,” says Dawson. “That’s what made it a ‘mystery.’ Because, if you said, ‘By the way, ‘Croatoan’ means Hatteras, and they’ve been interacting with these people for years.’ If we told them the real milepost
Sorting the past requires help from trained, international archaeologists and keen-eyed local volunteers. Photo: Scott Dawson
story, nobody would say they were lost. Everyone would say what I say. So, if that’s the case, why not go down and dig? So we did.” Between 2010 and 2019, Dawson’s Croatoan Archaelogical Society performed annual digs on Hatteras Island with the help of Dr. Mark Horton of the University of Bristol, uncovering thousands of artifacts — including several notable 16th century finds. This summer, Dawson published a book on their work, which he says settles his case once and for all. More than a piece of local history, The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island offers a pulled back perspective that covers the early years of New World exploration, from the political motivations to the differences in approach. At the same time, it updates the interactions between explorers and indigenous peoples over five distinct voyages. The tribes that helped — the mistakes that hurt. And the idea that for all the focus on Roanoke Island, the heart of the story lies 30 miles south. “I’m from Hatteras, and I didn’t know they landed there before they went to Roanoke,” says Dawson. ”That’s sad. It’s this massive piece of American history that Hatteras was involved with, and instead they just replaced it with Roanoke Island. That’s not right.” We sat down with Dawson to find out how a local history buff spawned an international excavation — and what’s next for future digs. — Matt Walker
Obviously you’re something of a history buff. How did you start researching the Lost Colony? I started when I worked at Festival Park in 2006. I was dressed up in the blacksmith shop, firing cannons on the ship and whatnot. When that was done, I’d go to the Outer Banks History Center. They had all the primary sources and early maps there. And a lightbulb went off, like, “Wait a minute, I know where that creek is.” And when you have that intimate knowledge of the local geography, when you read all these guys who came over here in the 16th century — when you read John White, Arthur Barlowe and Thomas Harriot — it’s different than a historian from Nebraska reading it. Because you’re like, “Two waters colliding? That’s Diamond Shoals!” It was like a drug. I couldn’t stop. So I started interviewing all the construction guys and talking to old people and studying the old maps. And the more you study it, the more you go, “This is a possibility.” So we got some professionals down here to start digging. It blew up into an international dig. Ten years later I’m talking to The New York Times and Fox News. But this whole time I’m reading, I’m going, “How come this wasn’t taught in school? Why does nobody know about this? Why isn’t anyone saying anything? It’s right here, and it’s crystal clear.” So, in 2007, I wrote a different book, called Croatoan: Birthplace of America. I self published it with Coastland Times. The first 500 copies sold fast. And in that book, I laid the case for what happened from the history — no archaeology. Just according to the primary sources, I laid out my whole argument for why they went to Hatteras. Just to clarify: you propose the Lost Colony was never lost. They went to Hatteras — or Croatoan — because they had an existing, friendly relationship. That they left a message indicating that. And that John White understood that message and was on his way to find them when he was blown off course. And if he had made it, there would be no mystery today because he would have recorded what he discovered. Yes. Because when you read the primary sources, there’s no mystery at all where Croatoan was. For example, the very same document that mentions the birth of Virginia
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Dare — which, by God, they got that part right — it says that Croatoan is an island three separate times. It also says it’s where Manteo was born and that the people of the island are friends. So to act like nobody knows what it means — that’s what made it a mystery. That’s crazy. Why do you think nobody else has come to the same conclusion? They have. There’s a lot of people — at least local people — who’ve said it. Because it doesn’t take a genius to sit down and read a document. I’m not the first person to say it. I’m just the first person to scream it. [Laughs] How did you get the University of Bristol and Dr. Mark Horton involved? It wasn’t too long after I worked at Festival Park that he came by for this ‘twinning’ ceremony between Manteo and Bideford. And the book was out amongst the history nerd circles, so he came down to Hatteras. I took him to some of the spots I’d gotten permission to dig on, and we ended up finding three skeletons in the bottom of a test pit in Buxton that was two meters by two meters. It was like a little hot tub. They were Native Americans, but they had English stuff with them — an orange piece of pottery, a musket ball, a horse bridle. None of it was very dateable, but they were sealed under a midden of seashells and deer bones from about 1650. So it fit the age where, if these people died at 70, they could’ve been alive in the 1580s. That kind of speculation can get you in trouble, so you don’t go running to the press. But Mark said, “That looks promising, let’s come back.” Every year the digs got larger and more professional. So how did these digs corroborate your theory? It sounds like the primary sources said, “This is what’s likely.” And the dig is the evidence that says, “This is what happened.” Is that the difference? Yes. But all that 1580s stuff could be stuff they traded for and hung onto for a while. What we needed was a layer of pure 1580s stuff with nothing from the 1600s. And, long story short, we found it. And it was magic. So now it’s not just English artifacts coming up; now we’re getting artifacts from the 1500s in a layer from the 1500s. We also got over 600 postholes from longhouses. So it’s like the heart of town. And side-by-side were English buildings.
We still had a problem though: in the 1580s, the Lost Colony wasn’t the only English voyage to Hatteras. So how do we know it’s from 1587 and not 1585 or even 1584, because all of them spent some time on Hatteras Island? And the answer was in those buildings. Because in 1584, it was a recon mission that wasn’t meant to last. They didn’t build houses. They lived in military field tents. In 1585, they did build houses on Roanoke — but the group that lived on Hatteras Island was only there for a month. They didn’t even have time to construct any before they left. So this is somebody who’d been there for a really long time.
Obviously, there are other researchers who say the colonists went west. Is there any chance one group went to Hatteras, and one went to Site X or Lumberton? And could DNA or genealogy provide some other answer? There’s always a possibility. But I don’t think the colonists split up. There’s no evidence for it. Just pure speculation. And there’s no reason to say they went inland either. Maybe their grandkids went inland. And everyone in North Carolina and Virginia claims some level of native ancestry. The problem is you don’t have any genealogical records in North Carolina before 1655. But even if they did, it’s not likely the children of any survivors would have English surnames — or even first names. It’s more than likely Virginia Dare’s grandson was named “He Who Burns Easy.” So, what you’re gonna have is what Lawson found in 1701 when he went to Hatteras: Native Americans who had blue eyes who said their ancestors were white people who could “speak out of a book.”
“I’m not the first person to say it. I’m just the first person to scream it.”
I assume there had to be Native American sites in town, correct? Or did they stay south of the bridge or on Roanoke Island? Roanoke Island only had nine houses. It was like the suburbs of Manns Harbor. They didn’t really live there in force, because
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questionauthority doing that, and I got lucky and met him before he died. I’m still reading his stuff, trying to figure it out. But there were 29 dialects of Algonquin, pre-contact. The one on Hatteras was called the bird dialect. The Secotan were right across the Sound, and they had the wolf dialect. And the first thing I did was look at the people’s names to see “which kind of Algonquin is this?” And Manteo means “to snatch.” And it’s the motion a blue jay does when it divebombs its prey. And it’s a bird dialect, so it’s Hatteras Island. Wanchese means “to take flight off of water.” So when I see a bird in the canal take off, I think “Wanchese.” He’s of the wolf dialect. So, what Arthur Barlow wrote down, he messed all up — he thought they were all one tribe.
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It seems like all history is a matter of conflicting perspectives. I mean, to native cultures, Virginia Dare is basically the nation’s first “anchor baby.” That’s why I think it would be cool if they redid the play from the native perspective. And start with Virginia Dare as an old woman, and she’s sitting down, telling the story to native kids. And she talks about how they came over and go from there. That would be way cooler. Maybe I’ll start my own play in Hatteras. And start it just like that. [Laughs]
roadmap gokite milepost What’s in a name? When it comes to distinguishing between native peoples, it’s half the story. Illustration: Scott Dawson.
there’s a lack of freshwater. Colington Island had a significant population in the MidWoodland Period — like 1000 years ago. But not a lot of them were living out on the beaches when the English came over. But our archaeologists say that, based on the middens, there had to be at least 1000 people on Hatteras in the 16th century. We’ve lost so much to erosion it’s hard to say. But that quickly dwindled. There was a small pox epidemic that ran through eastern North Carolina. Ninety percent of Native Americans died. By 1701, when Lawson went there, the tribe had maybe 90 people.
So what’s the magic bullet? Is it an English skeleton from 1600? The skeleton thing would be good. But, archaeology is not like TV where there’s
this one thing you hold up and it proves everything, like Indiana Jones. It’s more of a culmination of things. And finding loads of things is better than finding one thing. So I’d argue we’ve already found what we need to. But we’re not solely concerned with the Lost Colony. We want to do the Croatoan history in general. We want to keep digging and get a look at the older Native American sites just before the Colony, and after, so we can see the impact that the English had on the tribe. Some of the book’s more interesting details don’t involve the mystery at all — such as the differences in Algonquin dialects. How did you learn that? Was that in the history center? No. Not at all. That was very difficult. A man named Dr. Blair Rudes spent his whole life
Other cool things you discuss are how contact changed native life, like diet and weapons. What kind of patterns emerged as you dug? The natives had nets. They used shells as weights. And they changed to lead because that way’s better; it sinks a lot faster. And the amount of birds in the midden goes way up after they get firearms, which makes sense. So the fishing changed. The hunting changed. The diet changed a little. Still eating fish and deer. Turtles. The farming doesn’t seem to be affected that much. For crops, it’s beans, corn, squash, pumpkins — a bunch of different kinds of melons. We did find a lot of brandy bottles. It’s ridiculous how much brandy they got into. And they continued to like it. Because in the 1600s, you start to see smokehouses, which is a reaction to the alcoholism — building little sweat lodges for them to go into, burn a bunch of tobacco, and try to cure the alcoholism. It doesn’t.
It’s funny you say that. Because, if I say, “They eat seafood, they hunt, they drink too much,” not a whole lot has changed. And the funny thing too is, if you pay real close attention, the first thing the Hatteras natives give the English is two piles of fish. The first year, this guy rides up to two ships in a canoe, and they gave him a shirt and a hat and let him taste some wine and some meat. And when they let him go, they said he started furiously fishing out of his canoe and filled the whole thing with fish. And he put them in two piles on the beach, pointed to one ship and then pointed to the first pile, then he pointed to the other ship and pointed to the second pile. Like, “This is for you.”
“roanoke island was like the suburbs of Manns Harbor.”
What’s the future of archaeology on the Outer Banks? You brought up erosion. Is it sort of a race against time? It is. Because if we become crybabies about building houses, they won’t give us permission to dig at all. So you just have to say, “Hey man, we’re just here for the knowledge. Thank you so much. We just want to salvage a little bit.” And that’s what we’ve been doing. One of the Mid Woodland sites in Frisco got completely ruined by a giant house and a pool. But they let us in first. They said, “Hurry up!” And we said ‘Okay!’ Obviously, the book isn’t peerreviewed. And Horton writes in the intro that it’s just a taste of what’s to come. What’s next? Nothing that I can tell you, but it’s all good stuff. I basically said to Mark, “I want to put something out. I’m dying to talk about some of this stuff.” And he said, “Just don’t mention A, B and C.” But he’ll put it out there. We just need to finish the dig first. I’ll just say that we got ‘em man. Trust me: We got’ em.
The preceding interview was edited for length, flow and clarity. For a full transcript, go to www.outerbanksmilepost.com. milepost 47
god&d Art by Alyse Stewart
WIZARDS OF THE COAST
Are you brave enough to play Dungeons & Dragons? Watch out! That guy fixing your bike? He’s really “The Vulgar Menace,” a skeleton ranger who hunts the undead. Your bookseller? Come nightfall, she prowls the streets as a “Tabaxi”, a full-sized, feline thief with keen eyes and sharper claws. And the waiter reading the specials? On Wednesday nights, he casts spells as a half elvish wizard. “Well, technically, I’m a ‘wild mage,’” chuckles Jacob Richardson. “That means I gained my power through some random surge of magic, so I must learn to control it over time.” All over the beach, everyday people lead these strange double lives. It’s part of a modern resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons, the classic roleplaying game that lets virtual thrill-seekers team up on imaginary adventures — aka “campaigns” — putting in long hours, sometimes years, pretending to be heroes and villains, beasts and fairies. Don’t laugh. Over the past two decades, D&D’s transformed from totally nerdy to super popular. Proud celebrity players include Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and action star, Vin Diesel. The web series, Critical Role — where leading voice actors milepost
play live for up to five hours — has amassed 178 million views over two seasons. Last year, Wizards of the Coast — the parent company behind all the campaigns and guidebooks — tripled its sales of introductory box sets. Why? Well, a few things. Nerd culture’s been cool for some time. (Star Wars t-shirt, anyone?) Video games have made virtual avatars everyday items. Fantasy and cosplay are hotter than Smaug’s breath. Add internet upgrades — and a streamlined 5th edition that’s easy to play and more inclusive — and it’s easier for D&D fans of all ages and backgrounds to gather online and go on a quest. But at its core remains that most simple of pleasures: finding a way to not just escape reality for a few hours, but to lose yourself in a whole new world. “D&D is the most immersive thing ever,” says Richardson. “It puts all video games to shame, because there really are no limits to your imagination.” But there are basic boundaries. We tapped five experts to guide us into this hidden realm of infinite fun.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES First thing you need is a Dungeon Master — aka a “DM.” He or she’s the inventive architect who constructs the story your characters will follow. Your best bet is to find a practiced pal. They’ll be more patient with showing you the ropes, and you’ll feel more comfortable playing a role. “A friend gave me some books, but they sat for a while because I felt overwhelmed,” says local fantasy writer Katrina LeuzingerOwens. “Then he ran a beginner’s campaign where I played a magical elf who’d been living alone for centuries — I was, like, ‘Okay, she’s a big nerd who has no social skills. [Laughs] I got this.’” Now LeuzingerOwens is even learning to DM herself. Just remember: running games is a lot of work. DMs put in whole days studying guidebooks, drawing maps, dreaming up “non-player characters” to encounter inside a vibrant, alternative universe. What if the party decides to go left instead of right? What if they flee instead of fight? Quality prep ensures a wide range of different scenarios to eliminate potential plot holes and gaps in the action. And when the show starts for real, DMs breathe life into every performance, acting out foes, dropping in sound effects — even queueing appropriate music to soundtrack the situation. “My guy’s like a human voice synthesizer,” says Manteo Cyclery’s Brian Brockway. “But the real challenge of a DM is making something that’s fun and challenging — but doesn’t kill you off. And if they’ve done a good job, you don’t see through the campaign. The story just naturally unfolds.”
CHARACTER IS KEY The first thing your DM will help you do is create a character. Do you want to be a badass barbarian — or a brainy cleric? A helpful hobgoblin? An evil human? The combo of species, skills and personalities is nearly endless. But it doesn’t matter what your body looks like; it’s the inside that counts. “It’s not like a video game where you simply change looks,” says Richardson. “Good characters have both strengths and flaws. That’s what makes the game dynamic. Then you have to live and breathe those assets.” Diehard fans go so far as to create elaborate backstories and illustrations to help flesh
Not Your Typical Tobacco Shop out their avatars. Once the campaign starts, they lean into every nuance, adopting accents and mannerisms — or, if you happen to be playing an assassin born among the Aarakocra bird-people — just employing a series of squawks and chirps. “That’s what makes it so immersive: to fully become your characters,” Richardson continues. “Everyone else appreciates it. And you’ll be rewarded for your dedication.”
FATE IS IN YOUR HANDS Just because it’s fantasy doesn’t mean everything’s up to your imagination. In fact, nearly every decision requires a roll of the dice, ranging in sides from four to 20. Think your tavern keeper’s a spy? Roll d20 for insight. Drinking a few beers at the same time? Roll d4 to see if you fall off your stool. And just like real life, everyone has good days and bad days. “So, you can be the dumb barbarian who normally rips out trees,” says high school senior, Martina Prince. “But, if he rolls a d20, he can solve the hardest riddle without it feeling contrived.” The dice also deliver all the real drama. During battle, players roll to see who goes first — and last. Who hits and misses. The damage you inflict — and the damage you take. Each number puts you closer to victory — or crushing defeat. And nobody knows until the dice come to a stop. “That’s what makes it a game,” says Prince. “Rather than someone telling a story.”
A FUN THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE BLOODBATH For most players, the first few games are all about swinging axes and casting spells. But over time, it’s the moments between massacres that make the quest real. Do you hire a ship — or steal a horse? Accost an enemy right away — or connive an elaborate plan to ambush them later? Can you even find your way out of a secret cave? “One of my favorite things as a DM is presenting some sort of puzzle and seeing the players’ heads start to click as they figure it out,” says local artist Alyse Stewart. These are the moments when the role-playing elements really take hold. (It’s also how your characters can have time to rest up
and avoid dying.) “But if you have a party that prefers ‘hack-and-slash,’ you can make a campaign that’s basically all combat,” says Alyse. “It’s completely adaptive to what you and the players want.”
THERE’S A REASON THEY CALL IT A “PARTY” Complex? Yes. Long? You have no idea. But at its core, D&D is still a game. A fun excuse to goof off with friends and family. Crack a virtual beer. Share a real-life pizza. To hang out and be yourself — all while not being yourself. “The more you play, being what you’re not in real life becomes more interesting,” says Richardson. “Most games don’t allow you to peer into someone else’s psyche like that.” In fact, each game is like an intellectual jam. A collaboration between imaginations, as the DM and players script a story on the spot, with everyone inserting their own inspired riff. “It’s basically a giant improv session,” says Alyse, who plays with members of Theatre of Dare. “It’s actually a great way to try acting. And as a DM, I’ve gotten way more into writing. Other friends I know started drawing. It definitely opens up those creative doors.”
Do you want to be a brainy cleric? A helpful hobgoblin? The combo of skills and traits is nearly endless.
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Just be careful: you never know what’ll pop out. The most soft-spoken bookworm might start drunken brawls. The lecherous partier could play a do-gooder druid. Tall folks can be gnomes. Nice girls can be demons. And everyone goes home feeling more human. — Alfred DeNoume milepost 49
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How a pandemic inspired a community’s breadmakers.
Let’s be real: who didn’t dabble a bit in banana bread or a sourdough starter this year? According to Google Trends, breadrelated searches this spring were 60 percent higher than any time since 2015. While it’s been keeping hobbyists busy, several local professional bakers began heating their ovens to help their neighbors — and fire up their businesses.
“[This year] was a motivational time for likeminded individuals to provide community goods,” says Jamie Wegener. “I knew this needed to be a time to think outside the box and create work for myself and family at a time of loss.”
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“I kept trying to talk myself out of it,” Wegener says. “Then the pandemic hit.” She started delivering her baking experiments to friends. Then she organized a series of “bread drops,” relying on social media to advertise and take orders, focusing first on sourdough, focaccia and sandwich bread. “When I worked in retail, ‘homey breads’ always sold out first,” she explains. Wegener also rotated through other treats, like sweet potato biscuits, cornbread and beer bread. Then she and her husband/ business partner, Kenan, personally delivered orders — for free — from Corolla to Roanoke Island.
Wegener spent a career baking professionally in Chicago and, later, the Outer Banks, before pouring her energy into being a full-time mom. As her kids grew, she dreamed of converting her passion and skills into a side hustle. She figured she’d spend 2020 developing a business plan for selling her products to the community. Maybe by 2021, she could even open a stall inside Wanchese’s Secotan Market.
Each sold-out run boosted the couple’s confidence. By May, they’d converted a spare bedroom into an extra kitchen and joined Secotan Market, where every crumb disappears within the first hour. They call their business Gutsy Grain — a nod to the bold endeavor of launching in
More Than a Body Shop! the midst of such uncertain times. Moving forward, the pair plans to “stay openminded to how things evolve.” That means delivering through offseason and trying pop-up events — whatever it takes to keep feeding their new business. For more established eateries, baking bread provides a fresh source of revenue. When COVID killed dine-in service and live music, the Outer Banks Brewing Station scrambled for ways to keep reaching their fan base. Growlers of cold beer to-go? Obvious. But the piping hot ovens? That’s where co-owner and pastry chef Tina Mackenzie seized an opportunity. “We wanted to stay on people’s radars, and I thought, ‘Well, everyone needs bread,’” Mackenzie says. “It was just me in the kitchen, baking. I didn’t really think much of it at the time.” Thursdays at the Brewing Station — once dedicated to tapas and trivia — became known as Bread Day. In the height of the shutdowns, Bread Day averaged around 30 loaves a week. Even after resuming dine-in service, the Thursday Bread Day continues, and Tina gives no sign of slowing her roll. “I’ll keep doing this as long as people are placing orders,” she says.
Cookies traveled as far as New York, California and Hawaii.
Likewise, Claire Tillett relied on local restaurants and large celebrations to order her pies, cakes and cheesecakes. When COVID struck, Tillett, who owns Claire’s Cakes, lost the majority of her usual customer base. Rather than give up, she got creative. In an attempt to comfort herself and her neighbors, “One day I just made a cake and went around selling it for five dollars a slice.”
Then she kept at it. Along the way, she connected with Buddy Creef of the Pioneer Theatre in Manteo. He liked how her baking boosted the community’s morale.
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Together they began Curbside Concessions and Confections. This near-nightly service posted up in front of the Pioneer. They sold Tillett’s sweets alongside Creef’s popcorn and movie candy. On the first night, Creef announced on Facebook that “Claire’s Cakes, sold out in 30 minutes.” As many business owners resorted to surviving the pandemic by opening their minds, wedding baker Patrice Saltzman, of Patty Bakes, discovered a larger market by thinking smaller. “Cakes were always my main focus,” Saltzman says. “But the cookie kits really saved me.” Using mom’s old sugar cookie recipe, clipped from a 1960s Seventeen magazine, Saltzman began packing and selling cookie kits. Each came with homemade sugar cookies, piping bags of icing, sprinkles, and instructions. She created a new, themed cookie kit every week and delivered them to her Outer Banks customers. When clients asked if she shipped, Saltzman developed safe packaging for mail orders. The cookies traveled as far as New York, California and Hawaii, keeping her home business afloat until weddings resumed. Customers loved this stay-at-home activity that kept their kids — or themselves — entertained for a few hours. “I’ve gotten so many photos of kids decorating their cookies,” Saltzman says. “It’s brought me so much joy.”
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Saltzman paused the cookie kits to resume summer wedding orders, though she hopes to reintroduce them as time allows. Likewise, Wegener, Mackenzie and Tillett plan to market their services through the winter. As the seasons grow slower — and colder — people’s appetite for fresh bread will only heat up. And if these entrepreneurs learned anything during 2020, it’s that their business is about more than making dough. “I feel love from the whole community,” Tillett says. “It makes me feel like I’m doing good.” — Hannah Lee Leidy
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artisticlicense fooddrinkA BEER WITH QUINT! CRUSH Buffalo City Jug Shop’s barflies are larger than life.
“It was really a conversation that translated up onto the wall,” says Schwendeman. “Outof-towners came back throughout the year to see which characters made the cut.”
And — occasionally — who got cut. Several fan favorites hung out for a while, only to disappear as the piece came together. Fast Times at Ridgemont High’s stoner-surfer Jeff Spicoli hung out for months, just to get burned in the end. Even Brady’s first character — Jack Nicholson from The Shining — ultimately felt the axe.
“People thought it was the villain from Ghost Busters II,” laughs Morgan. “So we ended up changing him into John Goodman’s “Walter” from The Big Lebowski. But Brady is a perfectionist. He erased so many times that the paint started to come off the wall.”
Brady’s bunch. Photo: Chris Bickford
“I might be in the wrong business,” Morgan Myshin smirks as he points to the walls lined with pop culture prints inside Buffalo City Jug Shop. “Last year we sold 53 of those… not bad for not being an art gallery.”
His customers might disagree. What is cultivating a rotating selection of one-ofa-kind craft beer, if not curating creative expression? Plus, there’s always plenty of hip eye-candy to gaze upon between drafts.
Where most pubs’ décor might push product — think lit-up signs touting “Bass” or “Guinness” — Myshin’s atmosphere is a tribute to his lifelong fandom of oddball films and TV. But it was a random hire named Brady Schwendeman that ultimately produced the shop’s masterpiece.
One day, an idea came to Morgan to throw a few legendary characters on the wall as if they were sitting across the bar. He kicked the concept around with Brady and the regulars, who began spit-balling potential names between pints. Morgan had no idea the collaboration would grow to monumental scale. “I came in one Monday, and there was an outline of the Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex up there,” laughs Morgan. “From then on, there was no reining Brady in.” Today, taking a walk to the bathroom is like flipping channels on a rainy afternoon. You click past classic gruff misanthropes (Quint from Jaws and that red-bearded wildling from Game of Thrones). Loveable sidekicks (Chunk from Goonies and Barf from Spaceballs). Hottie heroines (Lisa from Weird Science and Alabama from True Romance) and handsome devils (Lost Boys’ David Powers and Point Break’s Bodhi). No rhyme or reason. Brady literally sketched whatever felt right at the time — including
breaks for comic relief (Dave Chappelle) and musical cameos (Lemmy from Motorhead) — always making room for just one more.
“It was supposed to be just ten characters or so, but the idea just blew up,” says Morgan.
have a beer and see what detail floats to the surface.
But it didn’t blow up fast. Instead of paint or marker or charcoal, every scale, hair, and wrinkle is drawn with fine-point, mechanical pencil. Each timeless expression adds up to hours of sweat equity per inch.
“It’s really just attention to detail,” says Brady. “If what you are drawing doesn’t look like the image you want, you can fix it.”
Brady labored on and off over the entire course of 2019. The regulars loved seeing the progress and suggestions kept rolling
“We’re definitely two big fans of film,” says Brady, who studied painting, drawing, and sculpture at JMU. “And we both have vivid imaginations.” milepost
in — the list of possible characters grew into the hundreds. Who got cast in the end was not so much an act of planning as it was trial and error, with regulars pushing this way, pulling that way.
But that’s why they put erasers on pencils, right? Right? “If I had known it was going to take me a year, I probably would have tailored that a different way,” Schwendeman admits. “In hindsight, I could have airbrushed it, but it is a unique style because it has a hand sketch quality to it... it has that casual feel.” The extra time allowed for a wider mix of subjects and greater level of detail. For every well-known figure hanging front-and-center, there’s a gem that stays hidden until the second or third pass. Like Donnie Darko’s Frank the Rabbit, lurking in the shadows, true to form. Or McLovin’s fake ID — firmly gripped by the Addams Family ’s Thing. All that variety is what makes the mural such a captivating conversation piece. You can’t just glance at it. Or capture it in pictures. You have to chill out for a while and see what new surprise floats to the surface. “There are so many Easter eggs in there,” says Morgan. “Like the ‘Pick of Destiny’ in Lemmy’s beer. I love those. It really is a living work.” — Dave Holton
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THE PRODUCER graphiccontent
Lots of young people mix beats. Young Cutta makes hits.
No beach kid’s bedroom should be this tidy. No skimboards. No surfboards. Not a trace of sand. Nothing but gray walls and white furniture — a bed and a desk — where the only splashes of color come from a glowing computer screen and a string of pulsing LEDs.
“I wanted my room to look like a studio,” says 17-year-old KDH senior/producer Henry Sherratt. “That’s what I was going for.”
It’s not just a look — it’s his life. While other teens might be chasing waves or playing sports, Henry’s day is a blur of composing 3-minute clips of original digital music — aka beats — then submitting them to a wide network of rappers and producers, in a battle with thousands of other digital composers to score the next hit. Not just battling — but winning. This past July, Lil Durk’s “Just Cause Y’all Waited 2,” reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 after being streamed more than 58 million times. Two of the tracks were made milepost
right here in Henry’s room. “I’m still waiting for my plaques,” he laughs, pointing to a big, blank spot on the wall by the window. When the honors arrive, they won’t say “Henry Sherratt” — they’ll say “Young Cutta.” Not because he’s trying to flex as some tough gangster from the hardened streets of KDH. Or front as some superfly producer. But because it’s the most honest description of what he does. “Well, I’m young,” he laughs. “And I basically chop up music and beats and splice them together.” The name came to Henry while he was sitting in class at First Flight High. Back then, the tall, polite, towhead was still a diehard hip-hop fan/digital hobbyist. Watching his favorite producers’ YouTube clips. Futzing around with FL Studios — formerly Fruity Loops — a $150 download that’s so user-friendly it’s revolutionized the music industry, from hiphip to EDM. Avicci used it. Drake’s producer
still does. Souljah Boy once quipped that “Crank That” made him $10 million in ten minutes. Three years ago, it might’ve taken Sherratt two days to make a similar beat. Now? “The quickest I’ve done it is probably 15 minutes,” he says as he slips into a rolling chair and pops open his laptop. “But if I like the beat, I’ll tweak it for hours. It just depends. But I try to make ten beats per day.” It helps that Henry grew up playing drums and piano. But this creative process is completely digital. In fact, the rectanglefilled interface looks more like a game of Tetris than a studio soundboard. He wheedles a few keys on a MIDI keyboard to form a catchy hook. From there, it’s all pointing-and-clicking, selecting notes and scrolling tones to create a dark melody. Next, he adds the drums, claps and other percussion — aka “the 808s” — before layering in a flurry of accents.
When he starts, the clock on his screen says 12:11. By 12:15 Henry’s constructed a robust, contagious beat that bobs and weaves. All that’s left is to stitch the clip together to roughly three minutes — and find the right rapper to apply his lyrical flow. That’s when the fun stops and the job really begins. “I spend the bulk of my time networking,” Sherratt explains. “It’s a lot of social media. A lot of texting artists. I treat it like a full-time job, because tons of guys send artists beats — and whatever gets used gets used.” When he first started, Henry was blindly DMing Instagram feeds. Six months later, he made his first deal. Today, he has recording artists hitting him up for his latest creations. If one gets picked, they start talking royalties — with Henry getting a cut of every download. But even the ones he doesn’t sell immediately, he can still earn a buck on later. Head to YoungCutta.com, you’ll find page after page of downloadable beats any
person can lease for $50 and up. Plus, any one of them could go on to do much bigger numbers. “You know ‘Old Town Road’?” Sherratt grins, referencing Li’l Nas’ multi-platinum 2019 hit. “Yeah, that started as a $30 download.”
He’s already averaging one sale per day — a solid part-time job for any high school kid. Add a grip of online tutorials promoting six-figure salaries — for the price of a shitty used guitar, and no lessons necessary — and it makes for a pretty packed field of would-be producers.
“I’m trying to produce songs that go crazy. Songs that everyone loves.”
How many? Hard to say. FL Studios won’t disclose sales figures, but they widely publicize 30,000 daily downloads. And Henry himself has five full pages of contacts, ready to blast at any time. Some are known artists. Others are up-and-coming talents. Many more are managers, engineers and other producers. Anyone who might hear a hook they like and want to record it — or put it in front of the ears of someone who does. “Lesser known guys share their beats with me; I share my beats with more known guys,” he explains. “It’s a lot of working your way up the food chain. And it’s kind of cutthroat, because there’s so many. But I guess the good ones stand out.” It all adds up to an industry that’s part gig economy. Part numbers game. Part penny stocks. A high-volume gamble where players bet both with and against each other. Trading assets, sharing secrets, pitching artists. Putting in countless hours for that one beat that really pays off. That’s what happened this summer, when Henry texted four beats to his manager, an engineer named Turn Me Up Josh.
“Josh was in the studio with Lil Durk and he played the beats for him,” he recalls. “Next thing I know, he was Facetiming me as they started recording. But usually it’s a lot of hoping and waiting. That’s why I like to work with rappers I know because they text back and forth and let you know what they’re thinking.” Sometimes they’ll even meet up in the studio. This summer Henry flew out to Los Angeles to work with other producers — and ended up tagging up with the legendary MurdaBeatz for a marathon 12hour session. Imagine: the KDH beach kid collaborating with musical minds double his age to write music for artists who occupy and reflect a more dangerous, dissonant world. One where the cry of gunfire and sirens rings out instead of shorebreak and seagulls. And, yet, Henry says none of that matters. “I don’t do the words,” he explains. “It’s not me expressing what the rappers go through. But I definitely like grittier beats. And I enjoy working with people who share the same energy. But basically, I’m trying to produce hit songs. Songs that go crazy. Songs that everyone loves.” He’s well on his way. One YouTube clip by Louisiana’s No Cap has five million views. Another by Detroit’s Quin NFN, boasted 1.5 million in its first month. That doesn’t include Spotify or iTunes. While most aspiring musicians spend years getting their start by playing regional clubs, Henry’s essentially performing for 100 50,000-seat stadiums. Mixing it up with the biggest names in the biz without ever leaving his bedroom. But he’s not done yet. As his fellow seniors size up colleges and careers over the next few months, Henry’s pondering how to graduate to the next level. “I might go to LA or Atlanta,” he says. “Or I might stay here and keep working. But I’m straight into it. This is what I want to do.” That’s because he’s already doing it. — Leo Gibson milepost 55
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Every Christmas, our neighbor gives us a Friendship Cake. Part fruitcake, part ceremony, the revered Southern tradition takes about fifty days to prepare. The starter must ferment for seven weeks and requires stirring every two days. And, you must time adding in fruit and nuts precisely thirty days before the Big Bake, or they won’t candy properly. Tasting a Friendship Cake is a privilege — receiving one is an honor. One year, a neighbor gave my mom two Friendship Cakes — one for us and one for a family friend. “Make sure Family Friend gets her cake,” Neighbor said one last time, before heading out of town for the holiday. “Oh, I will!” Mom promised with delight. She arranged the cellophane wrapped goodie among the sea of holiday treats spread over the dining room table — then warned her grazing husband and children, “Do not touch that cake.” Days passed. Festivities ensued. Eventually, the residual sugar highs pushed everyone toward different extremes. Mom’s manifested into impulsive acts of generosity. A tireless host, she slaved to please everyone, especially our demanding grandparents who were visiting for the week. They got the biggest plates of food, the best-wrapped gifts, and, if she knew how, Mom probably would’ve made snow fall for them, too. As the grandparents loaded their car to leave, Mom tore through the house, looking for last-minute tokens proving her daughterly devotion. Deaf to their protests, she grabbed random, half-filled cookie tins and containers of Christmas leftovers that she crammed into the backseat of their car. I tried to save her when she reached for that small cake, twinkling innocently with its cellophane and taffeta ribbon. “Mom,” I whispered. “Isn’t that the Friendship Cake for—?” She cut me off with a look cold enough to stop global warming — how dare I try to stop her from giving food to my poor, aging grandparents? Later, when all the family members cleared and the house relaxed back to normal, Family Friend called. She was so excited about receiving her Friendship Cake and could she possibly pick it up from us on New Year’s Eve? Mom hung up, paused, then rummaged through the dessert table, her movements growing in agitation. She whirled on her family, asking which of us had eaten that little Friendship Cake. When we recalled packing the grandparents’ car — making sure to include our ignored protests — she blanched at her generosity. For three days, Mom went to every countryside market and Southern bakeshop between Currituck and Craven counties. However, the Friendship Cake remained as mystical and elusive as our imaginations conjured. In the end, the day before New Year’s Eve, Mom and I had lunch at a little country café
Art by: Fay Davis Edwards
where a spread of gingerbread men, sugar cookies and fruitcakes sat for sale next to the register. While waiting to pay, Mom pawed through the wrapped items. “Mom, we have plenty of desserts left at home. We don’t need that,” I said. She pretended that she didn’t hear me and continued browsing. I shrugged, leaving her to her own devices.
Later, I found her in the kitchen working over a fruitcake. With the precision of a surgeon, she deftly slid off the Saran wrap and adorned her patient with pecans and pieces of candied citrus. She rewrapped it in a festive plastic bag and tied it with a raffia bow. She even nestled a little airplane bottle of brandy into the ribbon’s knot.
Residual sugar highs pushed everyone toward different extremes.
Inside twenty minutes, Mom poured fifty days of effort and love into this five-dollar pastry. After slapping on a to-and-from sticker, she placed the finished project on the dining room table, fluffing the bow one final time. Family Friend loved her fruitcake. She called our neighbor to thank her, then thanked us for passing on such a special gift. In-between Family Friend’s gratitude and rave reviews, Mom graciously shook her head, “Oh, no, no. No thanks necessary.” — Auden H. Lee milepost 57
endnotes Let’s get virtual! With the COVID craziness continuing to make mass gatherings unsafe, at press time many favorite offseason events opted for the online approach. Others were waiting to make a call. In each and every case, do your digital due diligence before logging on — or giving up. • On Oct. 1-3, scare yourself to death — without risking your life — when the 5th Annual Halloween International Film Festival streams 30 fiercely independent horror selections. Find a full sched at www.halloweendailynews.com. • Still wanna wear your mask about town? Head to Dare County Arts Council, where face coverings and small groups are always in fashion. From Oct. 2-31, check out Hilda Bayliss and Beth Burns’ on-fire ceramics — or sign up for Shirley Whitenack’s Beyond Program Mode Photo Workshop on Oct. 16-17. Either way, make sure you visit the upstairs to see The Great Art Heist: A Benefit Art Auction. With no way to host their annual fundraiser, this collection of local works must do all the heavy lifting to support our favorite creative non-profit. Too spooked to visit in-person? Head to www.darearts.org and bid online. (PS: stay tuned for another virtual upgrade to a favorite tradition — Artrageous Remotely Reimagined — sometime in late Oct. or early Nov.) • Or slip into Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery, Oct. 5-29, and you might sneak away with a piece of local art history as the Bryan Cultural Series presents The Art of Don Bryan Exhibition & Sale — a silent auction to share the local legends one-of-a-kind work, and to support arts throughout the area. More info at www.bryanculturalseries.org. • If you think remote learning is tough, imagine tackling a digital platform and a language barrier at the same time. Luckily, The Children and Youth Partnership’s Dare Family Literacy Program plans to shift their tutoring program for Latinx students to an online platform this fall. If you are a Dare County Elementary teacher who would like to refer a student — or someone looking for a rewarding volunteer tutoring experience — please visit www.darekids.org for information. No necessita hablar Español! • Ready for a taste of reel life? Celebrate 23 years of giving back to the community — and honor the memory of Jefferson “Sonny” Lee Albarty V — when the Manteo Rotary Club’s Inshore Slam returns Oct. 2-3, gathering area anglers to battle for the biggest fish in four categories: stripers, bluefish, puppy drum, and speckled trout. The past two decades, this fishing tourney’s helped fund more than $336,000 in scholarships, plus a range of community outreach efforts. While the traditional after party’s been deferred for obvious reasons, beverages, snacks and awards will remain on hand. Find details and an online auction at www.rockfishrodeo.org. • Or click over to the NC
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Aquarium on Roanoke Island’s website for a digital deep dive into local marine life. From Oct.-Dec., daily virtual programs include behind-the-scenes exhibit tours, animal cameos, and an educational series. Learn more at www.ncaquariums.com. • Theatre of Dare’s pushing back all live production for the foreseeable future, but the show will go on in the form of streaming performances — including a digital take on Dracula. Get the latest at www.theatreofdareobx.com. • Looking for a virtual event with tangible impacts — and a shot at free swag? Join the Outer Banks Surfrider Solo Beach Clean-Up. Just gather litter at your favorite access, then post your finds to social media and tag @surfrider_obx or #solobeachcleanup. The person or family who shares the weirdest find wins a local gift card. Need some PPE for your DIY effort? Call 252-3622299 for a free picker, mask, gloves, and a bucket courtesy of Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint. And keep following Surfrider Foundation, Outer Banks Chapter’s Facebook page for membership info and ways to support a healthy coastline. • Use your fingers to pick that yardbird clean when Rundown Café’s Fried Chicken Mondays cover tabletops with golden deliciousness, every week through the end of Nov. Tasty deets at www.rundowncafe.com. • For more finger-pickin’ goodness, grease on up to the Tap Shack most Fri. & Sat. evenings (6:30-9:30pm), or behind Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint (710pm), where free weekend concerts occur regularly courtesy of Bearded Face Productions. Get current lineups at www.beardedfp.com. • Classic cars more your jam? Join your fellow gearheads, Oct. 9-10, as the OBX Rod & Custom Festival brings a rockin’ display of vintage vehicles and souped-up rides to area bizzes like Shipwreck’s Taphouse, Hilton Garden Inn, and Carquest all weekend long. For a full list of pit stops and parties, race to www.obxrodandcustomfestival.com. • Make Longboard’s your drive-thru on Oct. 10 as the First Flight Rotary Club’s Oink N’ Rooster Roast offers to-go plates of killer pork and chicken — including whole butts, if you preorder — to fund local non-profits like the Beach Food Pantry. 12-2pm. Find a full menu of eats and all the tasty deets at www. oinkandoyster.org. • The Dare Literacy Council’s Annual Fall Book Sale remained an unfinished story at press time, but they’re still posting updates on www.dareliteracy.org. Monitor the website for the final word on what’s to come. (And start purging old books to donate just in case.) • Miss mingling with fellow business leaders? Try Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce’s Lunchtime Live, every second and fourth Tues., Oct. 13-Dec. 8. Starting at 12:30pm, these free, 45-minute, virtual Zoom Schmoozes also include a short presentation on investment tips. To pre-register, contact Karen Brown at kbrown@ outerbankschamber.com. • From Oct. 15-31 — except on Sun. — One-Stop Voting lets you get to work on this fall’s biggest job: casting a ballot in the 2020 Elections. After that, you gotta wait ‘til Nov. 3. Find a full list of locations, times and details at www.darenc.com. But first, go to www.vote411.org for candidate profiles. Even better, get firsthand answers on local issues by watching the Dare County League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forums at www.lwvdarenc.org. • Not all races have to be political. On Oct. 17, embrace winds of change — and enjoy some sailing camaraderie — when the Colington Yacht Club’s 2020 Regatta canvasses local waters. Full agenda at www.colingtonyachtclub.com. • Meanwhile, swing voters take a shot at winning big prizes — and help the Outer Banks Community Foundation get some more green — when the Kelly Hospitality Group Annual Charity Golf Tournament returns to Nags Head Links, Oct 19. Putt over to www. kellysobxcatering.com to register. • Sad to say that many beloved fishing events opted to postpone this fall. But Frank & Fran’s Red White and Blue Freedom Tournament remains unflappable. From Oct. 22-24, local anglers will line up on Hatteras to attack three fall species — red drum, whiting and bluefish — with good ol’ American cash payouts for winners. Learn more at www.hatteras-island.com. • Nothing but the blues for wildlife lovers’ offseason, as the annual Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival opted to hibernate until this whole pandemic thing passes. Expect the week-long collection of birdwatching clinics, kayak tours, and photo workshops to roar back to life next fall. Follow www.wingsoverwater.org for updates. • Likewise, OceanAir Sports had to blow off their OBX-Wind event until Apr. 2021. (Don’t worry: all registrations and raffle ticket purchases will carry over.) Instead, the
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endnotes Ocean Air Windfest will breeze through Avon, Oct. 24-31, delivering a week of light wind racing, high wind racing, freestyle — plus gear swaps and foil demos. Tack over to www. oceanairsports.com for an updated forecast. • What about Halloween?! Not many gory details to report, unfortunately. But we can confirm that Creepy in Corolla is still planning to park-and-play on Oct. 31. From 6-8pm, trick-or-treaters can visit the Currituck Beach Lighthouse to see if any keepers have any good candy, walk among the curmudgeonly Trunk or Treaters for a spook and a surprise, then knock on the door of Mr. and Mrs. Knight’s Boathouse. Get a more graphic account at www.visitcurrituck.com. • Or for the scare of a lifetime, head out to East Lake’s Wicked Woods. At press time they still planned to stuff the forest with ferocious monsters and freaky dead folks every Fri. & Sat., Oct. 16-Nov. 1 — unless virus spikes and/or fresh restrictions frighten folks off. Find their Facebook page for guidelines and possible cancellations. • It’s hard to be exotic — much less erotic — in a pandemic, but the Outer Banks Brewing Station was still dreaming up ways to preserve the party scene’s favorite scream. If nothing else, look to the backyard for some pop-up Oyster Roasts. Keep tabs on www.obbrewing.com for latest details and freshly brewed releases — such as Nothing Comperrys, pear-and-muscadine hard cider — plus a TBD sched. of virtual tours and tastings. • Organize a big festival that got cancelled? Or just missing a favorite event? Don’t beat yourself up — and don’t let anyone else do it either. After all, Oct. is Domestic Violence Awareness and National Bullying Prevention Month. And, more importantly, if you need help defending yourself, or know someone who does, seek help at www.obhotline.org — no matter what time of year. • Like visuals with an impact? From Nov. 6-28, Robbie Snyder’s large-scale paintings hit the walls of the Dare County Arts Council’s Courtroom Gallery, while Rosanna Guster’s glasswork lights up The Vault. Discover hours and social distancing rules at www.darearts.org. • Broncos buck and tongs tangle when the 5th Annual Bulls & BBQ comes to Currituck Rural Center, Nov 7. Watch
professional cowboys and proven pit masters compete for bragging rights in this blend of rodeo contest and grill competition — COVID permitting, of course. Find ticket packages and safety protocols at www.visitcurrituck.com. • Prefer peel-and-eat to red meat? Try Nov. 7-8’s 11th Annual Outer Banks Shrimp Crawl! Instead of gathering gourmands in a single spot, this updated version of a favorite fall food comp lets participating restaurants prepare specialized dishes — so diners can scuttle around town to find their favorites. Organizers were still cooking up details and pricing, but you can be sure each plate benefits the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research. Score tix and updates at www.obxdolphins.org. • Spice up your weekend with a ferry ride south, Nov. 6-8, when the Festival Latino de Ocracoke uses authentic food, dancing and music to bridge cultures. And come back Nov. 14-15 when the 9th Annual Scallywag 5/10k and HalfMarathon sends everyone home with a case of the fun runs. More at www. visitocracoke.com. • On your marks! Get set! Go… digital? That’s the decision the annual Outer Banks Marathon Weekend organizers will make before Nov. 7-8. Dash over to www.obxse.com for the latest news on all the usual divisions, such as half-marathon, 5K, 8K, and fun run. • At press time we were still waiting on marching orders from OBX Veteran’s Week, Nov. 6-15. Will folks post-up in person for writing workshops — or pow-wow virtually? Is the concert live or streaming? And where can people pay tribute on Nov. 11? Report to www.darearts.org to see how to best salute those who served. • Everyday civilians freeload off dedicated service members, Nov. 11, as the Wright Brothers Memorial celebrates Veteran’s Day by waiving admission fees. More at www.nps.gov. • Sadly, the Beach Food Pantry opted to can their Annual Holiday Chef’s Challenge till 2021 — but they’re opening up a whole barrel of whup-ass on food insecurity. If hard times have you feeling hungry, apply at www.foodpantry.org and they’ll find a time for you to shop for free, Mon.-Fri. And watch the site for news on Holiday Meal Bags, where families can score bags stuffed with turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving and
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seasonal music on a vintage Steinway. Happens every Fri. & Sat., Nov. 27-Dec. 19. 5:30Christmas. (PS: does your cupboard overfloweth? ’Tis the season to donate some items — or even some dollars.) • Fill up on high octane vittles from 17 mobile eateries — while bands 6:30pm. Get pricing and details at www.visitcurrituck.com, then register in advance at 252453-9040. • Sail way south, Nov. 28, as Ocracoke’s Parade of Boats adds a flickering glow rotate stages and beers lube your livers — when the Outer Banks Food Truck Showdown to Silver Lake, from 5:30-6:30pm. And come back for a landlubbling take on festive décor services The Soundside in Nags Head, Nov. 22 — all in a safe, socially distanced setting, of via Outer Banks Preservation Society’s Historic course. Find the latest at www.outerbanks.org. • Sorry Home Tour (Dec. 5, 3-4pm) and Wassail Party And race fans. Duck’s Annual ADVICE 5K Turkey Trot Community Tree Lighting, Dec. 8, 4-6pm. (Of course, decided to postpone their 25th annual Thanksgiving first get the “all clear” via www.visitocraoke.com before race till next fall. (Stay posted at www.advice5kturkeytrot. hopping on the ferry.) • Can’t get more socially distant — com.) But there are still ways to burn some calories and supernaturally dazzling — than Kites with Lights. before the big feast. On Nov. 25, start off easy — and On Nov. 28, spread out across Jockeys Ridge to witness early — when the Tipsy Turkey Beer Mile chugs twinkling bulbs soar among an astral backdrop. Starts at around the Outer Banks Brewing Station at 11am. 4pm, followed by a 5pm lighting of the Solar Christmas And come the big day, you can either pound away the Tree. Find the latest news — plus deets on the park’s pavo at Corolla’s 7th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5k regular kayak and educational programs — at www. (sign up at www.theobxrunningcompany.com) or melt off ncparks.gov. • Get a grip on your shopping at Kitty mashed potatoes down in Hatteras at the 9th Annual Hawk Kites’ Hangin’ With Santa, Nov. 27-28, where Surfin’ Turkey 5k & Puppy Drum 1/2 Mile Fun Run, kids can take selfies with St. Nick — Fri., 10am-2pm; Sat., where each entry gives an extra financial helping to the 1-4pm — everyone can try out toys and sports gear to Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund. Catch all add to their wish lists. More at www.kittyhawk.org. • possible changes at www.hatterasyouth.com. • Come Elizabethan Gardens maxes out the electric merriment Nov. 27, get a head start on holiday shopping — and A blizzard of holiday fun strikes Currituck’s Whalehead, Nov. 27-Dec. 19. Photo: Mark Buckler with WinterLights, Nov. 27-30. From 6-9pm, stroll paths holiday spirit — at Whalehead’s Christmas Craft full of dazzling décor and festive displays. (Plus score Village. From 11am-4pm, the grounds overflow with some Scrooge-approved holiday deals in the shop.) Carries on through Dec. (Tues.- Sun.) handmade items, hot cocoa, and warm-spirited carols — while Santa posts up for photos. And stick around, ’cause that night the Whalehead’s Candlelight Christmas Tours light up and Jan. (Fri. & Sat.). Closed on Dec. 24, 25, 31 & Jan 1. For pricing, details, and seasonal passes — plus a wide variety of socially distant, seasonally themed workshops, such as the historic property with 1920s décor and holiday customs, plus luscious sweets and live
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2000 South Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills | 441-5338 | Open All Year 1171 Duck Rd., Duck | Scarborough Lane Shoppes 261-7297 | Call for Seasonal Hours 801 Ocean Trail, Corolla (next to Food Lion) Monteray Plaza | 453-4862 | Call for Seasonal Hours milepost 61
endnotes State of the Non-Profit Dinner. On Feb. 3, members and non-members alike converge on Christmas Cactus, Poinsettias, and Holiday Centerpieces — visit their website at www. Duck Woods Country Club for a buffet and cash bar to celebrate the previous year and elizabethangardens.org. (Of course, this assumes the COVID Krampus does not spoil everything.) • What about Outer Banks Hotline’s Festival Trees? At press time, the board financially fertilize a brighter 2021. 6-8pm. (For reservations, call 252-473-3761.) Come Mar. 6, put your manos where your mouth was by joining in on Spring Fling Clean-Up Day. was still discussing ways to keep this evergreen fundraiser alive for the season. Stay tuned to www.obhotline.org for how you can help the cause. • Huzzah for the Outer Banks’ most From 9am-12pm, volunteers help The Gardens Staff prep for the coming season. They boisterous new holiday tradition — Jingle 12! On Dec. 3, at 5pm, Nags Head’s Lucky 12 provide a light snack and beverages — plus the buckets and wheelbarrows. You bring your Tavern becomes a pop-up Christmas bar. Till own rubber boots, gloves and all-weather gear. the end of Jan., every surface gets covered with Visit www.elizabethangardens.org for the latest. nostalgic knick-knacks and pop culture pieces. • There’s bushels of time and uncertainty Locals channel their inner Fezziwig; faces glow between now and Feb. 6, but the North like tacky leg lamps. Find the latest on Carolina Coastal Federation is still hoping to Facebook. • Looking for something a little bit host their annual Hatteras Island Oyster more year-round to stick on your mantle? Head Roast in Hatteras Village. Keep tabs on www. to Dare County Arts Council, Dec. 4-Jan. 30, nccoast.org for updates — and click “purchase” as Mary Edwards displays a timeless collection the second tix go on sale — or you’re be left of breathtaking watercolors, while Vicki Jo feeling salty. (And not in a good way.) • Franks converts cryptic scraps and quirky Worried about college funding? Every Feb., figures into mind-blowing mixed media. More local non-profits and business groups start at www.darearts.org. • We all love a parade. But putting together annual scholarships for it was still too soon for the Town of Manteo to university, culinary school, and other means of commit to any of their usual holiday festivities higher education. Ask First Flight High, at press time — likewise for Hatteras’ festive Manteo High, and Cape Hatteras Secondary flotilla. Monitor Outer Banks Voice, Island what’s available. Make sure your high school Free Press, and the other local digital news senior applies themselves. And next fall, they outlets for, hopefully, happy news. • But! The could be on surer footing toward a brighter 10th Annual Duck Yuletide Celebration was future. • If luck holds, we can expect at least two planning to deliver the usual combo of Kris Irish traditions to stagger on nicely in 2021. On Kringle, Christmas tunes and a Crabpot Tree Mar. 13, the St. Paddy’s Day Weekend Beer Lighting to Duck Town Green, Dec. 5. All Mile will sauce up your Sat. with a little runnin’ details and updates will be posted at www. around while chuggin’ o’ plenty. 2pm. Sign up townofduck.com. • Not even a pandemic can thru www.obxrunning.com. • And, as of now, ground the 117th Anniversary of Powered Kelly’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Flight. Come out Dec. 17 to Wright Bros. planning to strut down Nags Head’s Beach National Memorial for a full day of Road on Mar. 14. The date may shift to a later invigorating speakers and historic tributes — Sun. — perhaps even April. Can’t be too careful plus the morning flyover of military and civilian in these crazy times. But expect a full release to aircraft. Get a clearer flight plan at www. make the rounds in local media between now firstflight.org as we make a final approach on and Thanksgiving. • Taste of the Beach the big day. • That night, Avalon Pier gets more organizers were still chewing on details as we lit than ever, when The Town of Kill Devil Hills went to press, but at least one culinary Fireworks Show goes off at 5:30pm. Get adventure was ready to shoot. On Mar. 27, updates and rules on social distancing at www. head to Whalehead in Historic Corolla kdhnc.com. • On Dec. 19, the whole fam gets a Park for An Epicurean Evening. From 5:30healthy glow when the Outer Banks Jingle 8:30pm, enjoy a special tour of the legendary Jog 5k/10k & Little Elf ¼ Mile returns to winter hunt club, followed by a gamey, gourmet Southern Shores Marketplace. Distances multi-course meal complemented by fine wines. Roll by Dare County Arts Council, Dec.4 Jan-30, for freewheeling watercolors by Mary Edwards. cover every age and ability. Plus, the finish line Dress in your festive hunting and roaring celebration includes refreshments and a sweaty twenties-inspired attire. $125. ($225 per Santa photo opp. Full deets at www.obxrunning.com. • How bazaar? We don’t know either. couple.) RSVP by Feb. 27 by calling 252-453-9040. And get the latest TOB tidbits at www. At press time, it was too soon to say what other holiday arts and crafts shows were going to obxtasteofthebeach.com.• Finally, pencil in a new spring tradition by the Outer Banks continue in the era of COVID. Starving Artists? OBX Entrepreneurs? Best we can say is Seafood Festival. On Apr. 24, The Soundside in Nags Head will host the new Chowder keep tabs on Facebook. And whatever you do, stay creative — and buy local! • Same goes Banks Fest, a full day of delicious, diverse seafood tastings, different food trucks and cold for New Year’s Eve. We can’t begin to predict what the night’s biggest rager’s gonna look beer. And the entertainment is sure to reveal a new generation of local talent via the like. Some big outdoor shindig full of balloons? A bunch of tiny, 10-person porch parties? Wanchese Bedroom Slipper Relay Race and a Little Miss and Mister Outer Banks Just please make sure you safely celebrate with friends — and, come midnight, let’s all kiss Seafood Festival Pageant. (Open to children in Dare, Currituck and Hyde counties, aged this shitty year goodbye. • One party we can count on? The Elizabethan Gardens Annual 2-10.) 10am-6pm. Piping hot details served at www.outerbanksseafoodfestival.org.
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