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Out of sight Beaufort County home to unique treasures ‌ but you'll have to look for them


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Each Office is Independently Owned And Operated





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Aurora Fossil Museum: Small-town museum finds success as a national draw


Old World Era: Not your grandmother's antique collection

Publisher’s Note The Scene What's in store What's to eat Cast a Line Dining Guide Word on Wine Calendar Why I Love Washington Advertiser Index


Modern Oasis: Old Bath firehouse has a surprising secret


Radio Silence: Voice of America once spoke to the world … from here






Cynthia Crane, director of the Aurora Fossil Museum, holds a Megalodon tooth found in the neighboring Potash Corp-Aurora mines.

Beau-FITT: Competitive fun to help achieve New Year’s goals



Fascinating finds in our own backyard


eaufort County is home to some unique treasures, if you know where to look for them. There are some fascinating finds here in our own backyard. Some could easily be found in the pages of a history book, others are pre-historic. There is something to satisfy all curiosities — from beautiful and traditional to the downright bizarre.

As the Aurora Fossil Museum celebrates its 40th year, many of the treasures it highlights are millions of years in the making. Science has helped unravel the secrets of our past through the fossil record and the museum on the south side of the river is a showcase for all things fossil. Judging by the thousands of visitors that come from every single

state and even some other countries, the appeal of the museum is no secret. Visitors can actually dig for shark teeth on site. Grab a shovel and sift through history on page 22. To venture up the stairs in Belhaven’s Old Town Hall is to take to a trip to the past. The Belhaven Memorial Museum is a journey that weaves through old and ordinary, strange and peculiar. With decades’ worth of items on display, repeat visitors are likely to encounter a different experience each time. Tiptoe upstairs for a look on page 28. The massive facility down Cherry Run Road now sits silent. But the 2,800-acre site was once responsible for broadcasts literally heard around the world.

President John F. Kennedy dedicated the Voice of America in 1963. Along with a sister site in Pitt County, transmissions from Beaufort County played a key role in U.S. strategy during the Cold War era. Listen in on the echoes of the past on page 44. With an abundance of natural resources and good people, Beaufort County is beaming with local treasures. Whether you are exploring something new, or revisiting something familiar, may you come to appreciate all it has to offer.

Ashley Vansant, Publisher

We would love to hear what you think about Washington the Magazine. Email us at news@ write or write to P.O. Box 1788, Washington, NC 27889. Letters chosen for publication to us may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions become the property of Washington the Magazine. 6 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016





Publisher Ashley Vansant

Editorial Michael Prunka Caroline Hudson Jonathan Rowe Vail Stewart Rumley Contributors Will Preslar Meredith Loughlin Don Stroud Virginia Finnerty Richard Andrews Marketing & Sales German Llodrat Cecilia Prokos Spencer Stanley Distribution Sylvester Rogers Art Direction Jason Scott Contact information Washington the Magazine P.O. Box 1788 Washington, NC 27889 Advertising inquiries 252-946-2144 Ext. 221 Subscriptions & change of address 252-946-2144 Washington the Magazine is published six times a year by Washington Newsmedia, LLC. Copyright 2015, Washington Newsmedia, LLC



Down East Seniors The Down East Seniors gathered at the Washington Yacht & Country Club on Dec. 16 to celebrate Christmas amongst friends. The group meets weekly at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington, and dishes out doses humor, as well as presentations on variety of topics from experts in their fields.

Mike and Kathy Gwynn

John and Anne Tunstall

Julius and Diane Bauer, Mark Evans, Connie and Jim Hackney

Ramona Cayton, Sylvia Evans, Peggy Moore 8 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

Ed and Dianne Hamrick

Angela and Sam Price

Bo Bowen, James and Colleen Lupton

Brenda and Stewart Rumley

Alice and Frank Stallings, Leah Pyburn

Louise and Ray Briley

Purpose of God Community leaders came together for a dinner and reception fundraiser for Purpose of God Annex. The event was held at First Church of Christ where Christ Calling Christians, a local praise band, performed as musical entertainment.

Pamela Cox, Andy and Pam Grier and Bonner Hawkins

Tiana Holland, Dorothy Gray, Harold and Juanita Gardener and Marie Hodges

Millie Ebron, Alonza Bryant, Pastor Georgette Redmond, Seth Edwards and Larry Hodges

Mark and Melissa Clinkscales, Pam and Bubs Carson

Thomas and Rosalind Bailey, Vergon and Esther Gray

Linda and Augustus Dance, Lomia and William Acklin

James Porter, Nicholas Pierce, Walter and Colette Farrow

Washington Fire Chief Robbie Rose, Sheriff Ernie Coleman and Chief Deputy Charlie Rose JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 9



Beaufort County Police Activities League’s annual dinner/dance

Cathy Brown, Robert Brown, Stacia Abbe, Patricia Moore, Christine Jones, Carolyn Jones, Renee Smith and Kaneka Moore

Hundreds of local supporters of the Beaufort County Police Activities League turned out for the organization’s annual fundraiser—a dinner/dance at the Washington Civic Center. This year’s event featured a new aspect: the inaugural First Responders Awards. The award ceremony singled out those who have gone above and beyond the job to make a greater impact on the community. The awards also brought to the event first responders from across Beaufort County—firefighters, law enforcement, telecommunicators—as well as many supporters of the BCPAL program.

Joe Clark, Sarah Parker, Angela Sawyer and ET Sawyer

Jim and Jane Bateman

Nykia Leigh, Gladys Johnson and Shelia Carraway

Sheriff Ernie Coleman, Melissa Jarvis and Chief Deputy Charlie Rose

Larry and Rita Lee


Carolyn and David Lee

Oscar 'Levi' Moore, Matthew Moore, Florence Moore and Yvonne Moore

Latasha and Donald Keys

Al Powell, Melissa Jarvis, Larry Lang, Andy Anderson and Phillip Bryant

Tea and Topics Toys for Tots Drive The Tea and Topics book club held its annual toy drive to benefit Toys for Tots of Beaufort County on Dec. 3 at Yankee Hall Plantation in Pactolus. The event hosted 10 other book clubs, as well as 13 United States Marines from Cherry Point, and yielded close to 200 toys.

Bee Morton, Gage Sefcik, Mildred Buckman Stivey, Joan Crepps and Sally McGahey

Libby Garris, Brenda Mitchell and Cathy Moore

Sue Brown, Pat Calfee, Brenda Peacock, Marsha Hackney, Kathy Simpson and Betty Stewart

Cpl. Ryan Sullivan, Ruth Petersen and Kathryn Brake

Debbie Gerard, Kathleen Taylor, Beth Oden and Brenda Peacock

Cindy Marks, Lynne Anderson, Pat Litchfield and Pat Hill

Jackie Dean, Louise Vosburgh and Carolyn Wetmore

Pat Hutto, Gayle Nadel and Sandra Rhodes JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 11


PTRF Oyster Roast


Pamlico-Tar River Foundation may have merged with its Neuse River counterpart to create Sound Rivers, but the environmental advocacy group’s major fundraiser is still referred to as the PTRF Oyster Roast. The event was held on Nov. 14 on the grounds of the Washington Civic Center. Drawing a crowd from across North Carolina, the oyster roast — featuring oysters, chili, beer from eastern North Carolina breweries, a silent auction, live band and an oyster-loving crowd — is always a good time.

Leighton Blount, Ben Davies, Bo Brooks, Galen Niederhauser and Travis Stephenson

Patrick Holloway and Jen Hudson

Lisa and Sadie Meadows


Laura and Keith Lyon

Andrew Howard, Heather Deck and Matt Butler

Bob Byrum, Clare Brock, Skip Byrum and Robin Skillen

Rodney Peterson, Quentin and Mary Mason

Amy and Joe Martin

Amanda Laughlin and Megan Roberts

Dick and Becky Leach, Cathy Culpepper

Michael and Pat Mansfield

John Butler and Richard Smoot


UPCOMING EVENTS FOR AOP AND THE TURNAGE THEATRE Jan. 12-13 Auditions for AOP’s first community theatre production The Lieutenant of Inishmore Jan. 15 Comedian James Gregory In Concert Jan. 23 Molasses Creek In Concert Jan. 20 Gala Fundraiser The Roaring 20’s, A Decade of Decadence Feb. 6 Film Premiere-Union Bound Feb. 13 Special Valentine’s Concert Jazz & Blues Singer Diana Tuffin Feb. 26 Jeanne Jolly In Concert Feb. 28 Eastern Youth Orchestra In Concert Mar. 12 Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble Mar. 18-19 Pamlico Writers’ Group Conference & Competition Mar. 20 ECU Storybook Theatre Production of The Giver Mar. 31-Apr. 2 AOP presents The Lieutenant of Inishmore Apr. 9 EbzB Production of ’69 Seasons Apr. 22 Beaufort County Community Orchestra Spring Concert Apr. 23 ECU School of Theatre & Dance The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) Apr. 30 Annual BoCO Music Festival Also check our website for a complete gallery schedule including the annual Student Art Show, the Little Art Exhibit, the annual Members’ Exhibit, and more! Visit us online at for more information about these and other events. 150 West Main Street, Washington, NC 27889 PH: 252.946.2504 email: 14 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016



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A nATURAL AFFAIR A custom-made birdhouse would be the perfect gift for the bird lover in the family, and each one is created out of driftwood. To go along with such a natural theme, a hand-painted, silk pillow by Shantalle’s Studio will bring the chilly outdoors inside, making a perfect decorative addition. Both are available at The River Girl Antiques on West Main Street in Washington. Birdhouse $95, pillow $80.

CUP OF TEA Serve your guests some warm tea after their chilly trip using Juliska’s County Estate Main House Delft Blue tea set. The soft blues and ethereal scenes offer a good winter color palate and a transition from the harsh reds of Christmas. The tea set can be found at Stewart’s Jewelry Store on Market Street in Washington. Teapot $175, creamer $62, sugar pot $72.


BEAT ThE ChILL Block out the winter chill with this Blaque Label wool cape. Its cozy material and chic style will be sure to turn heads while you’re going on daily errands and can be found at Bloom Women’s Apparel in downtown Washington. Cape $286.

LOVE In ThE AIR Valentine’s Day is just right around the corner, and while you’re pondering what to get that special someone, make sure your house is ready with these festive Evergreen garden flags, available at Q-Tyme Outlet Store on U.S. Highway 264 East in Washington. Be Mine flag $12.

ThInKInG AhEAD With Christmas over, it’s time to transition into the winter season. This Sydney Hale Co. hand-poured candle with a wood smoke and amber scent is the perfect complement to cold weather. While you’re at it, plan ahead for Valentine’s Day and get the love in your life a special OneCanoeTwo greeting card. Both are available at Lone Leaf Gallery on West Main Street in Washington. Candle $30, card $5.


FIT FOR ThE GODS An unusual, yet timeless, vessel to hold special keepsakes, this Odin’s Box by Hans H. Johnson is based on Viking mythology’s Norse god Odin. The sandblasted raven pattern on the top represents the ravens Huginin and Muninn that brought messages to Odin from his kingdom. It is available at Lemonade Art Gallery in downtown Washington. Odin’s box $110.

OYSTER LOVIn’ The Pamlico-Tar River Foundation oyster roast at the Washington Civic Center draws a crowd every year, but the fun doesn’t have to end there. Show off your love of oysters with this Coastal Pride long-sleeve, 100-percent-cotton T-shirt, available at Cottage Junkies on Market Street. Shirt $34.95.

CLASSIC LOOK Every man should have a staple suit blazer in his closet, a mixture of tailored style and class. This Eisenberg navy blazer will do the trick and is a classic choice available all year at Russell’s Men’s Shop in downtown Washington. Blazer $195.



Rod Cantrell, CFP®, AAMS® Financial Advisor

258 West Main Street Washington, NC 27889 252-975-2663

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At the museum’s Fluorescent Min-


eral Room, visitors can view the effects of a black light on fluorescent sediments in various fossils.



Cynthia Crane, director of the Aurora Fossil Museum sits atop a mound in the museum’s fossil pits. Crane, a professional paleontologist, came onboard as the museum’s director in July 2014.


t was the early 1960s and what is now Potash Corp-Aurora, formerly Texas Gulf, had just started delving into the rich phosphate deposits discovered in the area. What was found in the process would change the town of Aurora and give life to the only fossil museum in the region. The Aurora Fossil Museum was born, and 40 years later, it celebrates its long, rich history

in educational outreach and promotion of geology and love of fossils. At the time phosphate was found in the Aurora area, geologist/geochemist Jack McClellan was tasked with logging core samples at the site and soon began to come across fossils, sharks teeth and then coral. “He sent the fossils to the Smithsonian, and the Smithsonian

started getting involved when (the mine) was in its infancy, said Cynthia Crane, the museum’s director. “The Smithsonian was highly involved with it.” Fast forward to the early to mid-1970s: Texas Gulf and the phosphate mining process was in full swing, with new fossils being found regularly. The town did an economic study about opening a facility to showcase the fossils to bring

This Anapsid Reptile, on display at the Aurora Fossil Museum, is one of the earliest known reptiles. The fossil is from the Permian Arroyo formation and is about 95 percent complete. The specimen is one of the largest ever found. The museum has many similar exhibits that serve as educational tools for visitors. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 23


Students from Tiller Elementary School of Beaufort dig through the fossil pits, located outside of the Aurora Fossil Museum. One student holds up a shark tooth she found while digging. The museum prides itself on educational outreach, a primary component that facilitated its start. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 25

Pictured is a room that contains fossils and information about seagoing creatures from periods past. The museum gets many of its fossils from the neighboring Potash Corp-Aurora mine due to the fact that eastern North Carolina was once covered by oceans. The museum’s exhibits and attractions brought in over 15,000 visitors from all 50 states and beyond in 2015.

tourism dollars to Aurora. In 1976, the idea for the museum was solidified, then founded the next year. The founding was a collaborative effort between the town, East Carolina University and other organizations. “It was kind of a joint effort and different resources of expertise to start a museum to showcase the significance of the fossils found here,” Crane said. “Once they laid the groundwork, they had to acquire a building and build displays.” Crane said the museum’s displays were possible due to contributions from the nonprofessional paleontology community. “This museum is unique in nature because of its high involvement, if not almost 100-percent involvement, of nonprofessional paleontologists,” Crane 26 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

said. “The actual museum, to build it, keep it operating, it has a lot to do with the fundamental thrill of finding and discovering fossils.” The ideal of discovering fossils and sharing in the enjoyment and education of them has been around in the museum since its inception. The museum’s kidfriendly spirit and engagement of all audiences have helped to continue its tradition of informal science education and inquiry-based learning. The museum continues its tradition of informal science education as it prepares for its 40th anniversary celebration: a yearlong observance that will be marked by a continuation of programs and outreach, as well as special events throughout the year.

According to Crane, 15,000 visitors come through the museum’s doors annually, guests who come from every state in the nation, and in some cases, from across the globe. “It’s shocking it has been here as long as it has,” Crane said. “When people find out, they’re like, ‘Wow.’ For a museum to be admission free and to serve the public and to educate and be in a relatively remote location in a Tier 1 county in one of the most economically depressed towns, for it to have the impact it does locally, regionally, statewide and even nationally, it’s incredible.” With Crane being the first professional paleontologist to serve as director, a vast network of her colleagues support her and the museum and its unique existence,

Students and adults alike come from all over the region and beyond to dig in the Aurora Fossil Museum’s fossil pits. Pictured, amateur paleontologists closely examine the sediments of the pits, looking for shark teeth, fossilized coral and other items.

something Crane says opens the museum up to a world of possibilities in terms of funding and different types of education using the resources that Crane brings to the table. But it isn’t just Crane’s presence that gives the museum a leg up. The staff at the museum plays a huge role in making the museum visitor-friendly and inviting. In addition to the welcoming staff, the educational component gives the museum exposure: tour and school groups frequent its facilities and fossil pits where visitors can actually dig to find shark teeth, coral and other fossils; and retired motorhome groups, church groups, bikers, military, car club members, toddlers, elementary-age, college-age, middle-school students —

people from all ages and walks of life — grace the museum’s doors. With that said, Crane and staff members, as well as the vast number of volunteers from the amateur paleontology community, have geared the museum’s displays to accommodate all of its visitors. There are even capabilities for the blind — brail on displays that allow the blind to identify the fossils and interactive displays where they can touch and learn about fossils, Crane says. “It really depends on the staff at a museum,” Crane said. “You can have the best, highest-grade fossil displays, but if that staff is engaging, it makes the visit memorable and well worthwhile. That’s always been here at (the museum). Everyone comes here and they know

they’re welcome here. It’s just one day after another, all the visitors we get, so we’ve tried to formulate displays and the museum to be accessible for everyone, and we’re still building on that. We do a lot of observation when groups come.” As the museum looks to 2016 and 2017, marking 40 years after the idea was conceived and put into motion, it continues to update displays and components of its outreach, while building on nostalgic aspects of its past. The museum will host special events and programs in honor of its anniversary, as it looks to the future of preserving the history of the area through the fossils that continue to make it a destination among lovers of fossils and paleontology. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 27


Belhaven Memorial Museum is a mixture of the historic, the quirky and the eerily charming. Way’s collection began with an assortment of buttons from her mother-inlaw and would grow to include more than 30,000 buttons.

OLD WORLD ERA Not your grandmother’s antique collection


Perhaps the strangest aspect of the Belhaven Memorial Museum is a collection of jars toward the back of the space. In these jars are preserved animal fetuses, human fetuses and a 10-pound tumor from a Pungo District Hospital patient.



here’s a certain amount of novelty around knowing the past. Time machines are a common sci-fi movie topic, and organizations dedicated to ascertaining family heritages have popped up all over the globe. But an unusual trip through history is actually available right here in Beaufort County — nestled on the second floor of Belhaven’s Old Town Hall. The Belhaven Memorial Museum is a snapshot of 1800s to mid-1900s history, arranged sort of like a family attic, as if its caretakers had only stepped out for a minute.

Walking into the space, one is immediately met with a pleasant, endearing smell of mustiness. Arthur Congleton, the museum’s caretaker for five days out of the week, is sure to greet one with his distinctly charming wit, boundless knowledge of the past and love for storytelling. It is almost impossible to determine where to begin in the maze of period artifacts. Nineteenthcentur y clothing greets visitors at the top of the stairs, and the display then falls into an endless amount of trinkets, tools and scenes of everyday life. A collection of canned goods sits on a shelf in the back corner,

seemingly waiting to be opened for tomorrow’s dinner, although now badly fermented. Old mannequins eerily peer down on wandering guests. In another corner are wartime uniforms and machinery, especially from the World War I era — and it happens to be Congleton’s favorite space, too. Another area holds two white lace gloves, yellowed with time, as if the elegant lady had just placed them on her dresser a moment ago for safekeeping. Then, in yet another corner, are the hair-raising jars of anything and ever ything that is sure to send a shiver down one’s spine. Pig fetuses, deer fetuses, even the fetuses of JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 29

Arthur Congleton, who looks after the museum five days a week, poses for a picture with a 45-pound Berlin 1918 gun from the World War I era. Congleton said he is able to learn about the different items by just listening to visitors’ stories.

unborn babies, are preserved in large, clear jars. This doesn’t include the two-headed wonder of a pig fetus on display, as well as a 10-pound tumor removed from a patient at Pungo District Hospital. It’s a display that produces an immediate grimace, yet somehow, also manages to encourage a second glance. This museum of the timeless and just downright strange began as Mary Eva Blount Way’s own private collection. Born on Dec. 26, 1869 into the prominent Blount family and later married to the even more prominent H.R. Way at the age of 17, Mrs. Way had an insatiable passion for collecting items — and not just any items, but 30 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

rather those that one couldn’t find just anywhere. Congleton describes H.R. Way as a “Yankee carpetbagger,” one whose family moved south during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War. And Eva Blount Way, described as “a housewife, snakekiller, curator, trapper, dramatic actress, philosopher, and preserver of all the riches of mankind,” in a 1951 Washington Daily News article, was just a little girl who never grew up. Her assortment started out as a button collection from her mother-in-law, a collection that grew to more than 30,000 buttons from across the world, according to the museum website. Over time, Way continued to gather objects that were of

significance to her, including dolls, farm tools and period clothing. She began to show her collection in 1940 to help raise money for the American Red Cross, and as the story of Way’s pastime spread, more and more people came to donate their own items of significance. In her unpublished autobiography Way wrote, “I have five children and they are all married and live in five different states from Texas to North Carolina. My youngest son entered the service in 1942 and my husband died in July 1943, so, since then, I have been living alone here (in her Beech Ridge home) except for an accumulation of souvenirs and treasures of about 62 years of my life."

Atop one of the many displays at the Belhaven Memorial Museum lays a collection of seemingly unrelated items, including an old shirt collar, old photographs, a trinket labeled with the Masonic “G” symbol and the Blount family crest.


Resting on an antique dresser are a few pairs of crocheted ladies’ gloves. Their intricate, hand-woven design depicts a time long past, but also represents an era of timeless delicacy.

Mrs. Way passed away in 1962 at the ripe old age of 93, and that’s when residents of Belhaven stepped in to help preserve the work of the decades-long collecting, the website states. The Belhaven Memorial Museum officially opened in April of 1965 in the very location where it is today. Despite the donations of items over the years, he said probably 70 or 80 percent of the collection still belonged to Mrs. Way, according to Congleton. For him, it’s the history of the museum that holds his interest. He was brought on 32 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

to help with cataloging in 1996 and has been involved ever since. Congleton said he has accrued his vast knowledge over the years by simply listening to people, watching them interact with the collection items and tell their own stories. “I’ve had people come through here and say, ‘I don’t see why this is in a museum here. I still use this,’” he said. “Her home is a real piece of art,” reads the 1951 news article. “Her feeling, humor, and grace when she reads poetry

would put to shame some of the finest Broadway actors and actresses. Her explanations of items in the museum are gems in themselves.” And thanks to the Belhaven residents who saw beauty in the midst of strange, strange chaos, people can enjoy the collection for generations to come, taking away a glimpse of what life used to look like. “That’s the one thing I’ve learned from history,” Congleton said. “Life is never as simple as you think it is.”

The Belhaven Memorial Museum is located on the second floor of Belhaven’s Old Town Hall on East Main Street. Eva Blount Way’s collection moved into the town hall in April 1965.





Clean lines define the mid-century dining room table and assorted chairs, framed by a backdrop of a kitchen wall made of metal roofing material.

alk past it, drive past it, a hundred times, and it doesn’t leave much of an impression. It’s another early-1960s construction — a nondescript second floor sitting atop a cinderblock first — with only its two large, garage bay doors hinting at its origin as Bath’s former firehouse. But walk up the long staircase to the building’s second floor, and another impression is made altogether: that of space and light, art and what can only be described as a museum-worthy collection of mid-century modern furniture. It’s 1,500 square feet of the unexpected at odds with its outward appearance, at odds with its very traditional surroundings in North Carolina’s oldest town — Bath. The vacation home of Frank and Zania Gail Plunkett is about as unique as homes get. The Plunketts live in Walnut Cove and have a beach house in Kure Beach, but what drew them to Bath was their daughters: Julie Sizemore, who’s made her home in nearby Bayview, and Hope Plunkett, who owns the house next door to the firehouse. In search of a place to stay when visiting, they stumbled upon the firehouse, a property that was abandoned when a new fire station was built in the 1990s. Plans to turn the building into a community center didn’t pan out, so it was donated to a local church. That’s when they heard about it, according to Frank. The Plunketts got the place for a song. With that same thriftiness, they set about renovating in a way that combined common sense, ingenuity, an inherent eye for design and a midJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 35

The Bath firehouse loft is 1,500 square feet and boasts lots of open, airy space, a bedroom partitioned by mid-century cabinetry, a full bath and kitchen and an office, while downstairs holds an enormous garage and a guest bedroom and bath.

century modern family tradition. Gail’s father was a finishing room foreman at Founders Furniture in High Point, a company specializing in the simple lines and minimalism popular in the years after World War II. She often tagged along as the company rolled out new lines at the High Point furniture market and the Plunketts’ firehouse loft is almost a tribute to those showroom 36 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

floors: a Plycraft chair and ottoman, low slung chairs and sofa, dining room tables, cabinets that serve as a display for the Plunketts’ pottery collection and a bedroom wall. In all of it, sleek lines evoke both the past and the newfound movement of the present. However, the amassed collection came about organically. “It’s just what was available to us when

we got married in 1959,” Gail said. “It’s our heirloom furniture for us. For most people, it’s traditional. Ours is Founders Furniture.” Their love of the style has made them collectors. Over the years, they’ve acquired more Founders furniture in a variety of ways, from estate sales of former Founders employees to yard sales. “When we see something we like, we

Zania Gail Plunkett grew up immersed in the mid-century mind and used that eye for design in renovating the Bath firehouse loft.

don’t care if it comes from a yard sale, a consignment store or a furniture store. We just buy it,” Gail said. That approach also applies to design choices in renovating the firehouse. One example is the kitchen — it’s modern, it’s spacious, it has plenty of storage and counter space, all provided by Sears Craftsman tool cabinets affixed to walls, cabinets that slide beneath counters and

a tool bench that holds pans, spoons and spatulas rather than hammers and screwdrivers. “We were probably looking at $25,000 for built-ins. We got all that for less than $3,000,” Frank said. The modified cabinetry works with the feel of the loft, especially with a kitchen wall, complete with cut out and bar, made of silver metal roofing

material. The bathroom is another place where common sense prevailed: the original firehouse’s two bathrooms were combined — now a glass brick shower divides the space. Tucked into one side is the commode; into the other, a vanity. Both sides have spacious closets with sliding Shoji screens that the Plunketts had built. “We looked at them online and they JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 37

were so expensive, especially that size, so we figured out a way to do it ourselves,” Gail said. With lightweight wood and opaque plastic, the Plunketts had the pricy screens recreated. In the old Bath firehouse, there are hints of the past (the old exit signs required in public spaces now act as nightlights; the staircase railing is actually a remnant from the old Bath High School) though they’re almost difficult to see beyond the modern furniture and the Plunketts’ vast collection of art. Some is Gail’s work — she started dedicating more time to art when she retired from her work in a lawyer’s office. Frank owned a Chrysler dealership, worked as a magistrate, served for 39 years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and now owns an auction business. “He’s retired from several things, but I can’t get him to retire completely,” Gail laughed. “We’ve had a grand life. We’ve been married — what, 56 years?” “Several years,” Frank answered. The Plunketts spend about a week of each month in their modern oasis and look forward to each time, whether they’re coming from Walnut Cove or Kure Beach. “We love Bath. It’s nice and quiet,” Gail said. “When we cross that bridge, it’s like a sigh of relief.”

Separate pieces create the illusion of a modern grandfather clock: Frank purchased the clock; Gail later found the pieces beneath it to match. 38 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

Sears Craftsman cabinets and tool chests replace the traditional cabinets of the Plunketts’ kitchen.



Hale & hearty Dishes to ward off the wintertime blues 40 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016



hen the chilly winds blow in off the Pamlico River, and a thin coating of ice on the windshield greets one every morning, a crisp salad and lightweight fare just won't do the trick. Winter is the one time of year diners can cheat a little without having to show off their excesses in a bathing suit. Bulky sweaters, bless them, hide a multitude of sins. Be warned: these recipes are definitely not diet friendly, for the most part. But when one is craving a stick-to-the-ribs meal, Beaufort County cooks know just what is needed to take the edge off winter. These recipes appear in local fundraising cookbooks, part of the Washington Daily News' Pamlico Pantry collection. Enjoy ... and throw another log on the fire!

Traditional Oyster Stew Michelle Clancy Saint Peter's Episcopal Church 2 quarts of oysters with liquid; 1 quart whole milk; 1/4 cup softened butter; 2 teaspoons salt; 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Add oyster liquid, milk, butter, salt and Worcestershire sauce to pot and heat, stirring constantly. If the broth looks thick, you may add water. The broth should be very loose. When liquid is hot and mixed together, add oysters. Turn temperature to low and cook until oysters are "done" (the edges will curl or ruffle). Serve hot; stew can be kept hot in top of double boiler. Yield: six to eight servings.

Spicy Tomato Soup

Red Chili Beans

Sandy Johnson Washington Pediatrics 1 tablespoon olive oil; 2 cups chopped onion; 2 teaspoons grated orange rind; 5 cloves garlic, minced; 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin; 1 teaspoon dried whole basil; 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried red pepper; 4 (14 1/2-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped; 2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion, orange rind and garlic. Saute eight minutes or until onion is tender. Add cumin, basil and red pepper; saute one minute. Add tomatoes and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 41

Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese Sue Radcliffe The Wilkinson Center 1 (8-ounce) box macaroni noodles, cooked; 1 large can evaporated milk; 2 eggs, beaten; 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese; 1 1/2 cups milk; salt and pepper to taste. Mix together macaroni, evaporated milk, eggs, cheese, milk, salt and pepper; pour into crock pot. Cook on low for three to four hours. To feed a crowd, this recipe is easily doubled.

German Potato Salad Erna Bienes First Presbyterian Church 8 medium red potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced

after cooling in refrigerator; 1 medium to large onion, or preferably a bunch of scallions; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon pepper; 6 slices bacon, fried until crisp; 4 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons flour; 1 1/4 cup water; 1/4 cup vinegar. Combine potatoes, onions, salt and pepper. Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces. Add flour and sugar to bacon drippings; stir until moistened. Add water and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for one minute or until thickened. Pour over potato mixture. Mix well. Serve hot. Serves eight to 10.

Venison Roast Erika Mason First Free Will Baptist Church 1 3-pound venison roast; 1 envelope Lipton onion mushroom mix; 2 cups water; salt and pepper to taste. Salt and pepper the roast. Place in baking dish or roaster. Spread onion


mix and water over roast. Be sure to cover it well. Cook for two hours at 350 degrees. It will make its own gravy.

Turkey Lasagna Beth Elliott Woolard The Wilkinson Center 10 uncooked lasagna noodles; 1 pound low-fat ground turkey; 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained; 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste; 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms; 1/4 cup onion, chopped; 1 tablespoon dried basil; 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley; 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder; 3 cups 2 percent cottage cheese; 1/2 teaspoon pepper; 1 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided; 1/2 cup egg substitute; 1/2 cup grated Parmesan; 2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese. Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook turkey. Drain noodles; set aside. In a large non-

stick skillet, combine turkey, tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms, onion, basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, egg substitute, Parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper and remaining salt. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, coated with nonstick cooking spray, place half of the noodles, overlapping them. Layer with half the cheese mixture, turkey mixture and mozzarella. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake five minutes longer. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Broccoli and Rice Casserole Alice McClure Plate and Palate 2 cups rice, cooked; 1 (8-ounce) block of cheddar cheese, cubed; 2 (10-ounce) packages of frozen broccoli

German Potato Salad cuts, cooked and drained; 1 can cream of chicken soup; 1 can water chestnuts, sliced and drained; 1/2 cup milk; 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce; salt and pepper to taste; bread crumbs. Combine hot rice and broccoli with cheese. Allow cheese to melt before adding other ingredients. Place in buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Red Chili Beans Penny Carawan Washington Pediatrics 1 medium onion; 1 pound hamburger, browned and drained; 1 can tomato soup; 1 can red kidney beans; salt and pepper to taste; Worcestershire sauce; Texas Pete; Parmesan cheese, if desired. After browning hamburger

and draining, return to pan and add onion. Cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomato soup and kidney beans. Add last four ingredients to taste.

Chicken Reuben Sue Fish First Presbyterian Church 4 boneless chicken breasts cut in half; 1 (16-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained; 1 1/4 cups Thousand Island dressing; 8 slices Swiss cheese; 8 slices rye bread. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. Place in greased 13 x 9 pan. Mix two to three tablespoons Thousand Island dressing with the sauerkraut. Spread the sauerkraut over the chicken breasts. Top with Swiss cheese and the remainder of the dressing. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to one hour at 325 degrees. Serve over rye bread if desired. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 43

In the distance, a network of feed cables


leads to one of several curtain arrays on the former VOA property.



Voice of America once broadcast in many languages. Today, the VOA shortwave broadcasts are only done in languages found in Africa, South Sudan and Southeast Asia.

Voice of America once spoke to the world … from here STORY By VAIL STEWART RUMLEY | PHOTOGRAPHS by ASHLEY VANSANT


“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death … Free men everywhere will listen to the sound of your words of truth that seek out men and women of the world that wish to listen to the voice of freedom, to the Voice of America.”

hose were the words of President John F. Kennedy on Feb. 8, 1963, spoken during the dedication that would put eastern North Carolina on the map of radio signals crisscrossing the world. In Cuba, they heard it. In South and Central America — there too. In Africa, it could be found by dialing in to a certain frequency. It was the Voice of America, telling the people of the world what the U.S. was all about, and that voice came

from Beaufort County. The Voice of America transmitter station sits on about 2,800 acres of land down Cherry Run Road, in the northwestern part of the county. It’s immense, with a web of feed cables weaving over the barren land to curtain arrays — directional radio-transmitting antennas — that tower over the flat landscape. With its sister Site B in neighboring Pitt County, it was once the most powerful international radio broadcaster in the world, both in actual

size and radio frequency energy. Each site had nine transmitters: three 500,000watt transmitters, three 250,000-watt and three 50,000-watt transmitters were able to send radio signals out to the corners of the globe. Voice of America’s roots lie in countering Nazi propaganda during World War II. The target was South America, where German colonies had long been established, as had a hotbed of pro-Nazi sympathy. But it was shortly after the U.S. entered the war that the broadcasts JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 45

became known as Voice of America. Direct programming began with a Feb. 1, 1942 broadcast to Germany: “Today and every day from now on we shall be speaking to you about America and the war. Here in America we receive news from all over the world. This news may be favorable or unfavorable. Every day we shall bring you the news — the truth.” By the spring of 1942, VOA had established a pattern of around-the-clock fourteen and a half minutes transmissions in English, German, French and Italian, according to the Dr. Walter Roberts, one of the first voices of America, who later went on to become the director of the U.S. Information Agency. Walters wrote that in those very early days, the government was leasing privately owned shortwave transmitters — all 14 that existed in the U.S. By the end of the war, the government had 39 transmitters of its own. During the 1950s, however, it was the threat of communism that cemented VOA’s role. VOA was transferred to the newly created U.S. Information Agency and transmitting to countries behind the Iron Curtain. When the Greenville (as they were referred to) sites were opened, it was just months after the Cuban missile crisis. Later, the Beaufort County VOA would transmit Radio Martí, specialized programming for the people of Cuba. The early 2000s brought cuts to VOA services. In 2006, the signal from Site A went down for good. Today, an eerie silence reigns at Site A. The machinery that once hummed, and hummed loudly, with the transmission of 24 audio channels to the world is quiet; the control room abandoned. It’s trapped in time, as though those who worked there simply got up and left after the last transmission, locked the door and never returned. Here a coat still hangs; there, a plaque citing some past employee’s award; tools abandoned as if mid-task. Dust covers shelves of forgotten relays,

The VOA site’s central power transmitter was housed in a separate building from the main facility.

This empty room was once the home of a threephase power supply.

transistors and batteries. “Why tidy up if there’s no tomorrow?” asked Martyn Johnson, Beaufort County’s economic director, during a recent tour of the building. “It’s bizarre.” It is bizarre, in that in nine years, humidity has wrought havoc on the facility: paint peels from walls and doors, dust coats all surfaces and rust coats metal. The land is accounted for: the site was 48 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

surplussed to the county government by the General Services Administration. A park, including a manmade lake, hiking, biking, ATV trails and a campground, was designed. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission would oversee much of the land and protect the habitat of the Henslow sparrow — the VOA site is one of its only landing places on the East Coast. Beaufort County Police Activities League signed on to

take over part of the property for its STEM activities; a Cold War museum was suggested for the main building. But it proved too expensive a prospect, and the county signed the property over to Wildlife Resources. For now, the skeletal silhouettes of those giant curtain arrays still define the landscape. But one day, they too, will go the way of Beaufort County’s Voice of America.

A Voice of America control panel bears the marks of time and disuse.

Clocks in the facility’s hall illustrate how time has stood still since the VOA site was shut down in 2006.





DoN’t you want to be a Gerri’s Gem?


Main Office 239 W Main St. Washington, NC 27889

Cell: (252) 945-1582 Office: (252) 975-8010


New Wild Pony Discovered In Eastern North Carolina

Discover the Beauty

of Eastern North Carolina 2015 Ford Mustang

“Your Friend in the Car Business”

Edenton 252-482-2144 | Plymouth 252-793-5123 | Williamston 252-792-4124 See more, save more JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 51


Exploring our winter fishing wonderland


inter fishing on the Pamlico is a wonderful way to offset the cold winter weather, short days and awkwardness of wearing heavy clothes. All winter long, anglers can catch striped bass, puppy drum, speckled trout, flounder and my personal favorite, white perch. The puppy drum and flounder are not as abundant as the other species because many of them migrate out of the estuary during the fall; however, some do stay for the winter and are usually caught incidentally with the others. Since they are northern fish and more adapted to cold water, the stripers tend to be more active during the winter months than the other species. While speckled trout can be caught all winter, they are far more active on warmer days during high pressure and clear weather. Cold fronts and arctic blasts creating cold nighttime temperatures tend to slow their metabolism and their feeding. Winter fishing (for any species) can be tough during cooling trends in the weather and the water temperature, but if you play the weather and fish during the warming trends, the fish are more active. For the speckled trout, look for baitfish concentrations in the backs of the deeper creeks and on adjacent mud/muck flats near those areas. Most of the visible baitfish will consist of finger mullet with menhaden, bay anchovies and other minnow species in 52 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016


A pair of anglers pose with two big stripers caught on the Pamlico River.

the mix. Soft plastics such as paddle tails and jerk baits fished very slowly on light jig heads should get a bite. Any suspending or sinking twitchbait, such as a Mirrolure worked slowly, will also be effective for the trout. Our resident striped bass population seems to be very abundant and healthy. An excellent indicator of a fish stock's overall health is a mixed age class. For the past few years, striped bass anglers have been encountering juvenile fish in the 6-12 inch range, 25-30 inchers and every

size in between, often catching small, medium and large fish on consecutive casts. Although topwater fishing is my personal favorite, winter water temps do not facilitate a consistent topwater bite, so subsurface tactics such as casting shallow-diving crankbaits along bank structure, jigging soft plastics on the deeper ledges and breaks in the river channel, or trolling deep-diving crankbaits or spoons out in the open water around baitfish concentrations and deeper structure should produce most consistently. Capt. Richard Andrews is a resident of Washington and the owner of a local year-round guide service offering fishing excursions on the Pamlico and nearby rivers. He can be reached at 252-945-9715 or richard@





Main Office 239 W Main St. Washington, NC 27889

Cell: (252) 945-0981 Office: (252) 975-8010 |









Wine and chocolate – a match made in heaven? WRITTEN BY VIRGInIA FInnERTY

here are those who think definitely not! Apparently, the problem lies in that chocolate and wine have a lot in common: how they are processed, as well as their chemical components. Because they are so similar they often “can’t get along,” much like two siblings who share similar traits. Grapes and cocoa beans are both fermented after harvest with the same type of yeast, both are concentrated sources of flavonoids and both are rich in tannins. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that so many wine lovers are chocolate lovers as well. However, enjoying them together can be a challenge. Chocolate is bitter, astringent and sour; red wine is also bitter, astringent and sour. Having them together, they reinforce each other’s bitterness, astringency and sourness and that’s not a pleasant experience on the palate. White wine tends to be even more acidic than red wine, so the chocolate will taste even more bitter and the wine will taste more sour, again not a good thing. Fortunately, since chocolate is also fatty and almost always sweet, by following

the few guidelines below you should be able to enjoy it together with your wine. Make sure the wine is as sweet as or sweeter than the chocolate; otherwise the wine will taste bitter. This means you will have to do a little nibbling, tasting and experimenting to find out. When pairing with wine, whether it is white, milk or dark, the quality of the chocolate is especially important. Pair according to darkness: the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine. Look for wines with soft, rounded tannins. The smoothness of the wine is an important element when pairing with the smoothness of chocolate. Choose full-bodied wines to go with strong, intense, heavy chocolates and chocolate desserts. When tasting white, milk and dark together, obey the wine rule of tasting from light to dark. Virginia Finnerty is the owner of Pamlico House Bed and Breakfast and its in-house wine shop.

white Chocolate Rosé Port, Muscat, Orange Muscat, Sherry, Fruity Chardonnay, Moscato d’Asti, Vintage Port, Lambrusco (Dolce or Amabile), Brachetto d’Acqui

Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir

Milk Chocolate PX Sherry, Creamy Sherry, Aged Vintage Port, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Muscat

Try champagne or sparkling wine with all chocolate types. Many fortified dessert wines also pair well with chocolate. Remember, these are only suggested guidelines because in the end, it’s all about personal preference and your enjoyment.

Dark Chocolate Vin Santo, Port, Zinfandel, Late Harvest

Bittersweet chocolate Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Shiraz, Orange Muscat, Port, Malbec and Zinfandel.





January 14 Senior Dance Washington Civic Center

7 p.m. Singles and couples over 50 are welcome to come and dance the night away. Admission is $7; 50/50 drawing, door prizes. No alcohol/no smoking/no children. Recording Family History: The Search to the Scrapbook Historic Bath

10 a.m. The first part of this workshop will help beginners learn how to use resources to find their ancestors, followed by discussion on creating a scrapbook to safely keep family images. Bring pictures — a genealogy scrapbook kit will be provided and time to begin work on your project will be provided. $10 per person and limited to 10 participants. Call 252-9233971 for more information.

the common and sometimes even the simplest events all become hilarious in the hands of this master storyteller and world-class comedian. Call 252-946-2504 for tickets or more information.

January 16 Night at the Opry

January 30

Tar Heel Variety Theater

Great Gatsby Gala

7:30 p.m. Classic country music featuring Chad Delph, Brian Williamson, Dana Lewis, Angie Lewis and other special guests. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $12. Call 252-9752117 for more information.

James Gregory in concert Turnage Theatre

8 p.m. Dubbed the “Funniest Man in America,” James creates an evening of non-stop laughter with a wry sense of the absurd, a Southern accent and universal storytelling. The ridiculous,

Turnage Theatre

8 p.m. Join Arts of the Pamlico for an elegant evening of dancing, entertainment and more at the Turnage Theatre. Call 252-946-2504 for tickets or more information or go to

January 22-24 Annual Friends of Brown Library Book Sale


Washington Civic Center


The entire Washington Civic Center is filled with books. From rare to children’s, coffee table to best sellers, can be found at this annual sale. Call 252946-4300 for information.

January 23 January 15

10 a.m. Artwork from across the country will be on display as judges select the winning original art for the 2017 NC Waterfowl Conservation Stamp. The judging is free and open to the public.

Molasses Creek in concert Turnage Theatre

Call 252-946-2504 for more information or go to

January 25 North Carolina Duck Stamp Competition Washington Civic Center


Thursday Night/ Saturday Morning Jam Turnage Theatre

Open jam Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Musicians and fans are encouraged to attend and play. There is no admission fee.

February 5-7 21st East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival North Carolina Decoy Carving Championship Downtown Washington

The ECWAF returns to

Washington for its 21st year. This event combines the area’s waterfowl heritage with the arts for a spectacular event. Artists from throughout the U.S. bring the talents for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. The N.C. Decoy Carving Championships showcase the amazing artistry related to decoy carving., 1-800-546-0162 ext. 2.

February 5-7 Chuck May Decoy Memorabilia Display North Carolina Estuarium

There is a special display of renowned waterfowl carver Chuck May’s decoy memorabilia that was donated to the Estuarium. This exhibit will be on display for the weekend of the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and N.C. Decoy Carving Championships. Call 252948-0000 for information.

February 6 East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival Dinner & Auction Washington Yacht & Country Club

6 p.m. This auction features works of art and award-winning decoy carvings featured at the Wildlife Arts Festival. The auction is free and open to the public. Reservations and tickets required for the dinner. Call 252-946-5470 for tickets or reservations.


Children’s Decoy Painting workshop North Carolina Estuarium

This activity is free but preregistration is required. For children ages 4 to 12 years of age. This annual event is a part of the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival. Call 252-948-0000.

February 6

Welcome to our town ! selling waterfront lifestyles

Gail kenefick REALTOR©, GRI, SRES


Bringing Back the Oldies (Motown-Rock classics) Tar Heel Variety Theater

7:30 p.m. Featuring Brian Williamson, Dana Lewis, Levi Cobb, Jennifer Waters, Landon and Nikki Lewis, Angelina and The Supremes. Doors open 6:30 pm. Tickets $12. Call 252-9752117 for more information.


REALTY Main Office Cell: (252) 945-3030 239 W Main St. Office: (252) 975-8010 Washington, NC 27889 |

February 11 Victorian Valentines workshop Historic Bath

10 a.m. This program will feature a brief history of the holiday and will offer participants the chance to recreate Victorianstyle Valentines for their friends and loved ones using materials provided. $2 per person; limited to 15 participants.

February 11 Senior Dance Washington Civic Center

7 p.m. Singles and couples over 50 are welcome to come and dance the night away. Admission is $7; 50/50 drawing; door prizes. No alcohol/no smoking/ no children. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 59


A group of young women takes a walk along the one-mile fitness trail that wraps around the campus of Beaufort County Community College. Going for a stroll with friends is one of the many ways to use the trail to stay fit. 60 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

Beau-Fitt for your resolutions

Competitive fun to help achieve New Year’s goals STORY BY MICHAEL PRUNKA | PHOTOS BY WILL PRESLAR


bout a year ago on Jan. 27, 2015, Beaufort County Community College hosted the grand opening of its IM FITT trail. It’s a one-mile path that wraps around the campus, but offers much more than a trail to walk. It started with three exercise stations and has since added a fourth. Some focus on strength training while others focus on cardiovascular health and flexibility. It was completed thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. Both the trail and the Beau-Fitt program as a whole have come a long way since then and there are no plans to slow down. Julia Crippen, the college's grant writer has been passionate in her grant writing, working to secure more money for additions and improvements. “We thought we could get 100 people a week that were ecstatic to use the trail,” Crippen said. “We’ve had a few days where there were 100 people using the trail. We’re so excited about that. It’s being used much more than we thought it was going to.” MDC, another grant funder, provided BCCC with an additional $25,000 to add the aforementioned fourth station, as well as some additional funding for the programs.

With the extra money, BCCC was able to purchase 55 Garmin fitnesstracking bands. Vidant Health partnered up as a co-sponsor and BCCC began a healthy luncheon series. The educational program is once a month, generally on the third Tuesday. The sessions have taught attendees CrossFIt, Zumba and healthy nutrition. Fun is the name of the game for the IM FITT trail and Beau-Fitt. The turn of the calendar marks the beginning of a lot of health- and fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. One of the goals of the program is to add fun and competition to the equation with the hopes of boosting attrition rates. “It’s fun and it’s competition,” said BCCC health and physical education instructor Ron Baldwin. “We want to add the competitive edge so it’s not just the walking. Now you’re throwing a whole other variable in there … When you throw competition into the mix, people show up.” Students, faculty and staff at BCCC have been given the fit bands. They’ve been separated into nine teams. Each person can check in with the number of steps he or she has walked, and there’s a leaderboard that can be checked. “It’s like this little challenge,” Crippen said. “You’ll be out on the trail and people will come up to you and ask, JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 61

‘Well, how many steps do you have?’ It’s really cool what people are doing. … The competition has just been phenomenal. It’s just so much fun. I have a community member that has said it has just changed her life. She said she wasn’t exercising and now she’s coming out to the track three times a week and walking.” The competition wraps up at the beginning of May. Beau-Fitt will host guest speakers, focus groups and programs like Zumba. Final assessments will be made where the data will be collected and qualitative feedback will be given. “We wondered about (attrition),” Crippen said. “We wondered how people, after the first months, if people would slack off. We started this in October. It’s still going strong and we’re running it through May. They say that if you can keep people going for more than three months, then they’ll start to change their habits. We’re doing it for eight months and they’ll get to keep the fit bands if they complete everything we’re doing.” That has been the idea behind a lot of the planned additions to the trail. Disc golf, badminton and volleyball are among the desired upgrades. All of those follow the same theme of making exercise fun and competitive for the community. When it becomes a struggle to keep up with lofty goals set at the beginning of January, pay a visit to the IM FITT trail. Take some of the work out of your work out and replace it with fun. (Top) Baldwin helps Maria Puga (middle) and Courtney Cratch (right) get in an upper-body workout at one of the four stations along the trail; (Center) Beaufort County Community College physical education instructor Ron Baldwin (middle) shows Samantha Ringlein (left) and Cristal Gachuz (right) how to use some of the equipment along the trail; (Bottom) This sign marks the beginning of the trail. It highlights where the trail goes through campus, where the four exercise stations are located, parking areas and water fountains. 62 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

It’s a Fact... BCCC Reduces Education Cost!

2014-2015 Tuition & Fees


Here’s some good news... An excellent education, whether to earn a fouryear degree or for shorter-term career training, does not necessarily require that you spend thousands more each year than your annual income! Regardless of your education path, Beaufort County Community College can meet your needs and offer significant cost savings over other colleges and schools. Questions? Call us, we’ll show you how!

BCCC East Carolina University University of North Carolina CH Miller-Motte College Strayer University Louisburg College (two-year) University of Mt. Olive Barton College Campbell University Duke University

$2,368 $6,143 $8,336 $10,748 $12,975 $16,678 $17,800 $26,664 $27,530 $47,243

On average, the annual tuition and fees for other NC colleges and schools are from 266% to 996% greater than BCCC. And, most students will also incur room and board costs at the other institutions. Costs of other institutions is from the latest data reported to the U.S. Department of Education for the 2014-2015 school year.

To apply to BCCC, go to our website at or call Admissions at 252-940-6233.


5337 Highway 264 East, Washington, NC 27889 • 252-946-6194 Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 63



Why I love Washington Legacy, History, Tradition Written by DON STROUD | PHOTO by WILL PRESLAR

h i s f a l l m a r ke d m a n y milestones in my life here in Washington and I have enjoyed reading the many articles written by my friends and neighbors about why they love Washington. With your indulgence and with these milestones in mind, I would also like to tell you some of the many reasons why I, too, love Washington. My family has been in eastern North Carolina for about 400 years, but my first introduction to Washington occurred 28 years ago, during my first week of law school at Campbell University. I had the great fortune to meet some of Washington's greatest assets, its people and, in particular, four of its favorite sons. We had a class of about 125 terrified souls that first week, but there was a group that stood out above the rest. They were the best of friends and possessed the good manners, humor, confidence, humility and smarts that only people who are truly blessed to be raised in loving homes and communities can produce. While it is true that there are lots of communities that produce children such as these, these guys were different, and they became instantly everyone's best friends, including mine. These young gentlemen were William Patrick Mayo Jr., Seth Hughes Edwards, William Hackney High Jr. and Jeffrey Benton Foster. Campbell University School of Law, myself, my classmates and even Washington would never be the same. My friendship with these gentlemen and later their families brought me to Washington and I shall be here till the day I die — so you have them to blame for me being here! After graduation, Will Mayo came back


Don Stroud, with sons Whit, Ian and Lachlan, at Stroud’s historic East Main Street home.

home and practiced with his esteemed father and muchloved county attorney, Billy Mayo, married and has raised a beautiful family. He is the godfather of my middle son, Ian. He and Ian's godmother, Tracy, have never missed an occasion in Ian's life. Seth Edwards came back home after marrying one of our smartest and prettiest classmates, Kim Tatum Edwards. Seth followed his family's tradition of public service and is now our elected District Attorney, while his wife serves the Board of Education and Child Support Enforcement as counsel. They tirelessly give of themselves for the public good and all the while raising three of the prettiest girls around. Hack High moved to Edenton after marrying the love of his life, Martha, and never misses a chance to visit his family and many friends here. He is a regular at Pam Pack football with his equally beautiful family, a boy and a girl. Jeff Foster married his local Beaufort County high school sweetheart, Jean, and has raised successful, beautiful children. By this time next year, I suspect Jeff will be the next Pitt County Superior Court judge. There must be something very special in the blue waters of the Pamlico River to produce men and families such as these and I wanted to do the same for my family, so I followed these favored sons to Washington and never looked back. I turned 50 this fall and have practiced law here for 25 years. I have restored a much-

The garden of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington makes for a quiet resting place.

loved old home in which to raise my three sons — Whit, 21, Ian, 19, and Lachlan, 7 — with the help of so many friends like Anne Stuart O'Neal, Whit's godmother, who took my children to school and back for years with the help of Katherine Tate. They helped in so many ways when a daddy's touch just would not do. In Washington, you do not have to ask for help, it is gladly offered. Suppers magically appear when you are ill, friendly visits are made when they are needed

the most and wagons are circled when the need arises. Folks in Washington look after one another and welcome the newly arrived just like I was welcomed 25 years ago. I cherish the fact that my old house sits between two fixtures of my life here. On one side is my church — St Peter's Episcopal Church — that has nurtured and loved my family all these years; on the other, the courthouse, where I have made much more than just a living. Another thing I

love about Washington is that there is not much difference between the two. Both strive to do the right thing but in very different ways. They are both peopled and administered by our friends and neighbors who truly have a passion for what they do. For instance, I can as easily rely on what I am told next door in church as I can rely on what I am told next door in court — whether it be by a judge, another local lawyer, a prosecutor or a clerk. There are not many places in this world where that can be honestly said. One's word matters here, and it does not require a handshake. The longer I practice law, the more assured I am that when you serve the Lord, you serve justice and when you serve justice, you truly are doing the Lord's work. This happens every single day while still respecting and keeping Church and State separate. I have been blessed to have travelled all over the world, but I know that I am home in Washington when people, even strangers, smile and speak on the street, people visit on front porches, men stand when women approach and yield their seats, no one ever pushes to be first, horns are rarely blown, doors are opened for others, “Ma'am” and “Sir” are still spoken, hospitality and gracious living is a way of life and not a history lesson and most especially, prayers of Thanksgiving are given daily for the One who made this little place and its people so very, very special.


ADVERTISER INDEX Acre Station Meat Farm, 55 Arts of the Pamlico, 14 Beaufort County Community College, 63 Brenda Evans/Century 21, 19 Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, 59 Coldwell Banker Coastal Rivers Realty, 3 Diane Edwards/CB Coastal Rivers Realty, 53 Dr. Lee Lewis, DDS, PLLC, 66 Eastern Dermatology & Pathology, 66 Eastern Radiologists, 15 ECU Lifelong Learning Center, 53 El Charrito, 55 El Tapatio, 56 Executive Personnel Group, 21 Eye Care Center, 22 Farm Bureau Insurance, 20 Feyer Ford, 51 Fox Hollow Farm, 53 Gail Kenefick/CB Coastal Rivers Realty, 59 Gentiva, inside back cover Gerri McKinley/CB Coastal Rivers Realty, 50 GoldenWay Home Care, 59 Grub Brothers Eatery, 54 Lone Leaf Gallery, 50 Mi Amor’s Pizzeria, 54 No Wake Zone Grill, 54 On the Waterfront, 56 Physicians East, 5 & 21 PotashCorp Aurora, 15 Rod Cantrell/Edward Jones, 21 Ridgewood Rehabilitation & Living Center, 50 Scarborough Fare Catering, 43 State Farm Insurance/Mauri Evans, 50 Stewart’s Jewelry Store, 7 Suddenlink, inside front cover Tayloe’s Hospital Pharmacy, 15 Tavern at Jack’s Neck, 56 Vidant Belhaven, 19 Vidant Health, back cover Vidant Wellness Center, 22 Zaxby’s, 55




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Washington the Magazine Jan.-Feb. 2016  

A publication of the Washington Daily News

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