Washington the Magazine March/April 2022

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Restored A passion for preservation ALSO INSIDE

WASHINGTON 100 years ago SAVORY SPRING RECIPES

MARCH/APRIL 2022 WASHINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

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Publisher Ashley Vansant Editorial Steve Barnes David Singleton Contributors Richard Andrews Emily Bennett Leesa Jones Mary Mehlich Sam Mordecai Vail Stewart Rumley Advertising Director David Singleton Marketing & Sales Kristen Smith Michelle Brewer Distribution Kim Riggs Art Direction Ryan Webb 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. © 2022 MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 5


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In this issue

FEATURES & DEPARTMENTS NEIGHBORS 16

ON THE COVER

THE RESTORER

Kasey Stone preserves part of Washington’s past

16 A LOOK BACK 28

WASHINGTON 100-years-ago A conversation with 97-years-old Ford Worthy

28

16 HOME BY DARK 36

A WALK IN THE PARK

A Sunday stroll around ECU's Clark-LeClair Stadium

36

IN EVERY ISSUE 9 41 49 51 54

The Scene Word on Wine Cast a Line Advertising Index Why I Love Washington

WHAT'S TO EAT 42

42

A SAVORY SPRING

Delightful dishes with colorful fare celebrates a new season

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162 W. Main Street Washington, NC 27889

252-946-2122

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THE SCENE

Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Celebration

PHOTOS BY EMILY BENNETT

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THE SCENE

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THE SCENE


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NEIGHBORS

Stone 's career as a furniture showroom designer was on an upward trajcetory until her parents bought a fixer-upper in Washington. The rest is history.

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THIS OLD HOUSE BRINGS PASSION

Kasey Stone preserves part of Washington’s past STORY BY STEVE BARNES PHOTOS BY ASHLEY VANSANT

M

ost kids rearrange their bedroom furniture at least once, but Kasey Stone has turned that process into a career. Stone is in the middle of what she calls her biggest challenge; renovating a historic home on Water St. in Washington that happens to be the third-oldest in a history-steeped community. Built in 1785, the Hyatt House has lay dormant and unoccupied since at least 1967. Wrap your head around that for a minute. No family has called a house in a great location home for 55 years. To Stone, that’s a plus. MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 17


Stone says the historic home on Water Street is her biggest renovation challenge yet.

“It’s amazing to think nobody’s lived here for that long, but it also means that a lot of the original work has been preserved,” she said. “1970’s architecture was horrible and people came in and ruined old houses during that decade. It will add an extra cool factor to the house when we’re done because they don’t build them like they used to.” Stone didn’t plan on reinvigorating old structures while she was growing up in LaGrange, Ga., but a look into her family background reveals that it’s not such a stretch after all. “My parents, (Ed and Shirley) always bought fixer-uppers, so I was painting and using various tools at a young age,” Stone said. “My grandpa was a plumber and my uncle was always interested in historic preservation, so I was around it almost from the beginning.” 18 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2022

Stone, 43, moved back and forth from LaGrange to Greensboro as Ed was transferred within Highland Industries, an industrial fabric manufacturing firm. She started high school in Georgia and graduated from Greensboro Page, knowing she wanted to study architecture and interior design in college. “I was accepted to Auburn and Georgia Tech, but knew N.C. State was the right place when I visited campus,” Stone said. “I did an internship with a firm in Greensboro that had clients all over the world and ended up with a second degree from UNC-Greensboro.” Her first job was working at Chickie’s Furniture store in Greensboro, where she learned all angles of the business, with an eye toward designing showrooms. That led to a spot at Meridian Marketing as the head of design.


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“I traveled all over the world helping clients arrange their showroom displays and actually lived in England and Romania for a while,” Stone said. “It was pretty close to my dream job.” She returned to Greensboro in the early 2000’s, around the time her parents were looking to retire. Stone, an only child, was driving through Washington and thought her folks should visit. “They ended up buying a small house on Main St., that they still own and then decided to buy a real renovation challenge on 2nd St. in 2006,” Stone said. “That’s when my life headed in a new direction.” Her folks weren’t up to doing the extensive work needed and didn’t know anybody local to lead the project, so she decided to get her general contractors license and dove right in. “It wouldn’t work like that in every family, but my parents had confidence in me, so they told me to go for it,” she said. “I hired the carpenters, plumbers and other tradesmen and had the structural background from college. I’d been painting since I was 10 and knew I could cover up my mistakes. It was dealing with the other stuff that came up along the way helped me learn lessons that proved to be invaluable later.” Stone founded her company, Clearstory Design, in 2006 to work on her parents’ house. What she thought would be a fairly straightforward process turned into a four-year ordeal full of unforeseen circumstances and challenges. “It was my first historic home, which meant there were tons of snags that I hadn’t anticipated,” she said. “It was my first time dealing with the Historic Commission, which tried to be as accommodating as they could, but there were rules to follow that I hadn’t dealt with before. FEMA wanted the house elevated in case of flood, but the state said we couldn’t. Tons of red tape that I spent most of my time dealing with while the sub-contractors actually did

Above: Stone says a home should reflect the owner's personality. Below: The back of the Hyatt House will get a makeover as well.

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Cutline

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Stone's plan is for the Hyatt House to be ready for occupancy sometime in the fall.

most of the work.” The project finally wrapped in 2011 and with Her parents comfortably moved in, Stone was at a crossroads. She loved what she did with Meridian and was still travelling the world, but taking an aging, neglected structure and giving it new life sparked something. “I found a passion I didn’t know I had,” she said. “I did several houses for clients here in the Washington area and bought a couple also. I was still working remotely in Greensboro and staying in my folks guest house when I was in town. COVID-19 hit and that shut down travel, so I sold my house in Greensboro, moved to Washington, went all in with my company and haven’t stopped.” Stone found a historic home on Main St. that went on the market after the owner passed

away unexpectedly. That led to a project further down the street for a client and finally to the Hyatt House. “I’ve never said no to a house, but I have to clients,” Stone said. “I knew the first time I walked into the house that’s now mine that I wanted it and I felt the same about the Hyatt House. There’s something about old homes that speaks to me.” While work was underway on her current home, Stone had a chance to go to the other Washington, D.C. that is, to help decorate the White House for Christmas. She had been filling out the online application for a few years, but was finally chosen in 2020. She was part of a 90-person crew split into multiple teams to decorate over 75 trees spread throughout the 132 room building. She was

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there for three full days around Thanksgiving, but didn’t get a glimpse of President Trump. Nonetheless, Stone enjoyed every minute. “It exceeded any expectation I had and was one of the highlights of my life so far,” Stone said. “It was amazing to sit on the floor surrounded by every decoration you can imagine and think that I’m doing it at the White House. I had been there as a tourist a few times, but there were always guides to keep us from going certain places and touching certain things. I thought of all the famous historical figures who had walked through the rooms where I was working, and it made me tear up a little. It’s the ultimate historic home and I would do it again in a heartbeat.” A few months later, in April of 2021, Stone found her current project, an aging, long-


Stone renovated her personal residence, a historic home on Main St in Washington, and added personal touches throughout.

vacant, reportedly haunted, white house with peeling paint and a strange looking set of stairs by the front window that puzzled the many walkers who passed by it daily. “I knew I had to have it the first time I was in it,” Stone, who bought the home from a local woman’s estate. “The door in the front hall is four feet wide. There’s nothing close to that now. Some of the original floors are still in great shape and that’s so rare. It’s been so cool to do the research and discover the many old things inside.” Stone research helped her piece together a fascinating historical account that started with John and Thomas Blount, shipbuilding brothers who owned a lot of land and ships in the area. They were importers and exporters who built the house across the street from their shipyard. One of the rooms is built from ship wood, reportedly to make the brothers feel like they were still at sea. One of their captains, Thomas Smith, lived there with his family a few years after it was built and his ghost who Stone thinks haunts the third floor. “Legend has it that two little girls, whose family lived there later, saw Captain Smith in full uniform gazing out the third floor window, waiting for his ship,” she said. “I’ve felt a presence

Stone learned to use tools at a young age and it's turned into a valuable skill.

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Left: Stone tests paint colors for the Hyatt House. Right: The stairs to the second floor are visable through the front window, one of the Hyatt House's many quirks.

I’ve never said no to a house, but I have to clients,” Stone said. “I knew the f irst time I walked into the house that’s now mine that I wanted it and I felt the same about the Hyatt House. There’s something about old homes that speaks to me.”

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—KASEY STONE


on the third floor more than once when I’ve been there by myself and we’ve heard what sounds like metal moving a couple of times. I think he’s friendly and doesn’t mind us tearing up his house.” The house changed hands many times, with the Hyatts moving in around 1870, according to Stone. She hopes the newly restored version will make Captain Smith and the new owners proud. “It’s a good feeling to save old homes with character and it’s important to save them properly,” she said. “This house is a jewel and to find the three oldest homes in town right next to each other is amazing. They’ve survived wars, fires and hurricanes, so I feel like it’s my obligation to do it justice. Keeping the structural integrity is the most important and we’ve done well so far.” Stone plans on having the house ready to occupy sometime in the fall.

Kasey Stone helped decorate the White House for the 2020 Christmas season.

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WASHINGTON HARBOR DISTRICT

FINDING THE RIGHT POLICIES FOR YOU!

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A LOOK BACK

Ford S. Worthy Jr., in WW2 uniform.

Ford reads from book his mother, Pauline Worthy, co-authored with Ursula Loy.

Worthy’s family gather for a photo on his boat in front of their house on the Pamlico River. From left to right: Ford S. Worthy, Isabel Carter Worthy, Ford S. Worthy, Jr., Marty Worthy, Isabel Worthy Mattox, and Carter Worthy.

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WHAT WAS WASHINGTON LIKE 100 YEARS AGO? A conversation with 97-year-old FORD WORTHY INTERVIEW BY SAM MORDECAI • PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Ford Worthy is a southern gentleman raised in Washington Park, Washington during the 1920’s1930’s. I know of no one else his age who can recreate their Washington childhood experiences in such detail. Ford married my cousin, the late Isabel Blount Carter Worthy, also of Washington. I met with him, his grandson Thomas Hester, and my son, Samuel, at his home in Raleigh shortly after his wife passed away in October 2021. '— SAM MORDECAI, WASHINGTON NATIVE

When were you born, and where? I was born in 1924 in our house on 201 East Main Street, right across from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. It’s still standing. The attending physician at my birth was Dr. Josh Tayloe, the brother of Dr. Tayloe Sr., who was the father of Dr. Dave Jr., who was the father of Dr. Dave 3rd (born 1925) who was the father of Dr. Dave the 4th of Goldsboro. What did you do as a child growing up in Washington? I moved to Washington Park when I was in the first grade, in 1931. I started wanting a boat as soon as I got there. My neighbor, Jim Filling, had a boat. His father owned The Ice House. That was a thriving business down near where Market Street dead ends into what is now Stewart Parkway. The Ice House sold ice to all the houses in town, and merchant ships would pull in their dock and ice up. My father said if I could raise half the money for a boat he would put in the other half. A Mr. Emory had a boat building shop on Water Street near the end of Bonner Street. He was known as the best boat builder around. He made his boats out of Juniper, and I couldn’t afford his boat. I got a boat made from cypress wood by Edwin Reed Tripp of Nevil Creek. I saved

money, a quarter every other week, for months to be able to buy that cypress boat. I was probably 10 or 11 years old at the time. The boat cost eight dollars, and that included the handmade oars, oar locks, and a ten-foot bow line- delivered to the dock behind my father’s drugstore, Worthy and Etheridge, on West Main Street. Where did you go in your boat? My father wouldn’t let me go out alone. Whenever I wanted to go out in the boat, my mother and father were right there with me. He said that when I could swim to Grandpap’s Island I could take it out by myself. It was about three quarters of a mile from the shoreline in front of my house. My cousin from Charlotte, Bill Boykin, talked me into swimming to the island. He and my sister sat in the boat and coached me as I swam. I got about, say less than 100 yards from the island, and I was so tired, and I thought, I had better get in that boat quick or I am going under. Bill, my coach, said; ‘Keep on swimming, you will get your second wind’. I didn’t know what a second wind was, but I kept going. I was swimming the sidestroke, and I began to rally a little bit. I made it to Grandpap’s, and then Bill coaxed me into circling the Island instead of going to shore. I circled it, then Bill said; ‘All right Ford, you got your second wind, now swim back to shore.’

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So I did, I made it back. After that, I could use the boat by myself, and my boundaries were anywhere in Washington Park, up to the store at the intersection of Brick Hill Road and River Road. Runyon’s Creek was my boundary back where the bridge was. Maple Branch was another limit for me — it was back of the houses on River Road. It wasn’t even a creek, more of a ditch. Those were the parameters of my roaming around. I roamed around a lot. Did you and your friends fish out of your row boats? Oh yeah. We used a cane pole and worms, and mostly caught white perch. When the river was dredged, they made a sandbar off Mimosa shores. There were a lot of stumps on that sandbar and there were a lot of white perch. So, you were a real River Rat? Yeah. The guys that grew up on West Main Street, like Lindsay Warren, Swanson Graves, Cam Rodman, and Nelson Jeannette — we called them the West End Boys. A young boy who lived on West Main Street rode his bicycle into the river and drowned — so the river to them was a hazardous place. Stay away from it. In Washington Park the river was our playground. We thought it was our river. That was the two oldest Mayo Brothers, Jim Filling, Jim McMullan, Frank Miller, and me. When it would flood, or a northeast wind came, a lot of stuff, including boats that were not tied up, would drift out from the creeks into the river. We would race out there in our row boats to see who could claim the best stuff. First one there got the prize. That was our first lesson in Maritime Law. After we had been out on the river for the day, we would come back to Washington Park and tie our boats up between two cypress trees and leave them overnight. When did you first see an outboard motor? I don’t remember when, but I know how big it was. Our first motor was a 1.6

What did the waterfront look like back then? In the 1940’s or 50’s the City built a concrete sheet pile seawall about 100 plus feet from the shore. Behind the seawall they pumped sand in from the river bottom. That was the beginning of what is now Stewart Parkway.

horsepower Evinrude. That was huge for us. Then the Mayo’s got a 2.1 hp Johnson. That was big time. What else did you do before you became a teenager? I was in the Cub Scouts, then the Boy Scouts. The Cub Scouts met at First Presbyterian Church. We would go camping down where the Country Club is now. There was a spring down there where we could get fresh water. It was a bad area to swim, though. If you stepped into that muck in Broad Creek, you would sink right up to your knees. We also camped on Tranters Creek. There was a sand pit there, and there must have been a spring there too. That was how we decided where we would camp. We went to the World’s Fair as scouts and camped in the campground up there. The campground was not in New York City. I think it was across the river in the Palisades. What did the Pamlico River shoreline, near downtown, look like when you were growing up? There was a city dock at the end of Bonner Street. At the end of Market Street there was a dock - that’s where the Ice House was. They sold ice that was hauled all over town in carts for houses, but merchant ships would go there and ice up also. There was Fowle’s Dock at the end of Respess Street. Between those docks there was just a few short, dilapidated piers.

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Were there any particular events in Washington when you were growing up that stand out in your mind? I remember when the circus came. They always unloaded at the train station, which was at the southern end of McNair Street. Moss Planing Mill was just upstream and adjacent to the railroad depot towards downtown. The elephants would pull all the equipment down the road to where the circus would be held. We would all stand on the sidewalk and watch them parade by. They would set up near the intersection of what is now 15th Street and Market Street. Moss Planing Mill was just upstream and adjacent to the railroad depot towards downtown. The Tulip Festival held in Washington was something we looked forward to every year. However, the large tulip fields I remember so vividly as a boy were 25 miles away in Terra Ceia. As boys, we loved it when they dredged the river. Greenville wanted a port, so the Tar River was straightened and dredged. The channel started in Greenville and came right down through Washington, and on to Maules Point. It was 100’ wide and 12’ deep. Something else I remember was when Kak Harding, who was Edmund Harding’s daughter, got married to Henry Hodges. Cecil B. DeMille was a big Hollywood movie producer, known worldwide. Well, Kak invited him to her wedding — and he came. Now THIS was a big deal. The wedding turned out to be a sideshow. Cecil arrived in Washington on a yacht. We rode out in our rowboats to meet Cecile’s yacht. Henry and Kak got married at St. Peters, then got in a sailboat named “Stormy Weather”, and sailed away. It was a romantic show, you know. Another time a guy named “Dishroom”, I think his first name was Clifton, drowned.


His body surfaced and a fisherman drug him up to the city dock. He was all bloated and puffed up and the crabs had been working on him. I never forgot that. When buildings caught on fire it was an event. When the high school burned, the band was outside practicing, and they played “Glory, Glory, The School Is Burning Down.” The whole school didn’t burn, but it got us out of class for a few weeks. Moss Planing Mill burned down one night. I remember going out there and seeing huge flames leaping into the air. The Fire Station had a horn that signaled there was a fire. And it sent out numbered blasts that let you know what street the house was on that was afire. For example, Location Number 13 (one blast, then silence, then three blasts), stood for the corner of Bonner and Main. We would all ride our bicycles to the house and watch the firemen put out the fire. You mentioned the Carter House, which is where I grew up, 1232 N. Market Street. My Uncle Sam Tim Carter told tell me they went quail hunting right out the back door of that house. He said there was nothing but straw fields there, and that they had five or six coveys of quail to hunt within a couple miles of the back steps. Do you remember that about that area of town? Yes, it was like that. There were places close to his house you could hunt in. As a matter of fact, he (Sam Tim) used to bird hunt on his lunch break. I’ve never heard of that before or since. What type hunting did you like the most? Miss Patty Baugham McMullan used to let me hunt anywhere on Honeypod Farm. I could go over there after school and hunt quail. I wasn’t a very good shot, but I liked it. Once my father and I went

quail hunting on Jesse Satchwell’s farm in Chocowinity. Daddy had his 12-gauge Remington automatic. The dog pointed and the birds got up. Daddy shot five times and dropped five birds. But what I really liked was duck hunting. It’s crazy sitting out there in a duck blind and it’s cold and nothing flies for several hours. I liked shooting the bluebills, though. They would circle, then circle again, then circle yet a third time before they would decoy. My blind was off Camp Leach near Ragged Point, about a mile west from your Uncle Sam Tim’s blind. The ducks would swing into our decoys, and we would shoot one, maybe two if we were lucky. Then they would fly down to Sam Tim’s blind. His crew hunted with the plugs out of their guns, and when they opened fire- it was raining ducks. One of my most memorable hunting experiences did not involve shooting ducks but building a blind right off Camp Leach. When Fred Mallison and I got home from finishing the blind we found out Pearl Harbor had been attacked. That was December 7th, 1941. When did you meet your future wife, Isabel Carter? I met Isabel when she was 16 years-old, and I was 22 years-old. Six years age difference in Washington was like a generation. My friends all accused me of ‘robbing the cradle.’ That was 1947. I met her on the Swimming Platform in front of Dr. Campbell’s house at Shady Banks. You had to wade out to the platform - no attachment. My then brother-in-law, Jennings Freeman, owned a Higgins speed boat. He would let me borrow it if I put gas in it. I didn’t use it much because it was a guzzler. Before I left the Swim Platform that day, I asked if anyone wanted to go for a ride in the speed boat. Isabel and some other boy got in. I thought he was with Isabel, but she was trying to distance herself from him.

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I read Isabel’s obituary and noticed her academic achievements. She was an educated, worldly woman. But tell me how she grew up on the Pamlico River and could not swim? Washington didn’t have a swimming pool. And back then, to a lot of people, the river was something to stay away from- it was deep water and a number of children had drowned there. For Isabel the river (at her parent’s Summer Haven cottage) was a place to wade in and socialize, not a place to swim. There was no air conditioning back then, so people who had a house on the river went swimming every morning and every afternoon to bathe. You bathed with soap in the river, not in the house? On Saturdays we did. My mother would say- ‘It’s Saturday, you all go on out to the sandbar and get cleaned up for Sunday.’ We would take a bar of Ivory Soap, and row out to the sandbar. Ivory Soap floats, so if you dropped it, you wouldn’t lose it. The water at the sandbar was about three feet deep. We never had a bathing suit. We always went swimming naked. Today, people eat out a lot. When I grew up in Washington in the 1960’s and 70’s, I remember going to The Rendezvous Restaurant, owned by Raymond Latham. That was about the only place we ate out, and it was seldom. Did your family eat out a lot when you were growing up? No. As a family, we would eat out on what we called “Fourth Sunday.” That would be every fourth Sunday, just like it sounds. We ate at The Patrician Inn, on Main Street, owned by Mrs. Pickles. And we did not go every fourth Sunday, either. Sometimes I ate breakfast at Talley’s downtown. That was when I was in my twenties. If I had extra money, every now and then I would eat at Webb’s, a drive-in soda shop near Washington Park. It was owned by Webster

Ford S. Worthy Jr. and his two grandsons, Hoyt Lewis and Thomas Hester, on Ford’s farm located outside of Washington on Hwy. 17.

Alligood, but everyone called it Webb’s. Webb’s was on Main Street at the intersection of Jack’s Creek and the river. They had a delicious roast pork sandwich. It costs twenty cents. A coke was five cents. As a young adult, where would you go for entertainment? Like, if you had a date? We would go to Webb’s and have a fivecent Coke. And it was great fun. I often went with your aunt, Annie Lucas Douthit. Did you have a garden at your house? Yes. It was a plot about 30 feet by 50 feet. We grew various vegetables to eat. Most people had a garden. Did your mother buy food from the grocery store? She did. She would call H. Killingsworth’s Grocery and tell them what she wanted. Hunter Killingsworth would send a man on a bike to deliver the groceries to our house. He put them in a large basket on the front of his bicycle. Most of the time she would buy a couple of chickens to fry. They would put the chickens in a paper bag. They would bind his feet, cut a hole in the bottom of the bag so his head would be out the top of it.

Wait- what are you saying? That the chickens were alive? They were. The hole in the bag was so he wouldn’t suffocate. Then Jenny Graddy, who cooked for my mother for 20 years, would take the chicken out back and wring their necks. Jenny always used a good supply of bacon grease for her fried chicken. That was some good fried chicken. That is about the coolest thing I have heard of in my entire life. A live chicken in a bag with his head poking out the top. At least he got his last joy ride in the basket of that bicycle. There have always been some characters in Washington. Did you have any characters wandering the streets when you were growing up? There was a guy named Eddie Woolard who wore a ponytail. I guess you could say he was one of the first hippies. He said that everybody called him Eddie, and no one ever called him Mr. Woolard. So, he named his son Mister. Seriously, that was his first name- Mister. He wanted people to call his son Mr. Woolard. I don’t know what Eddie did for a living, but he was definitely a character. I remember Eddie from the 1960’s

Pictured is a flock of swans at Lake Mattamuskeet. (Allie Stewart / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) 32 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2022


and 70’s. He always carried a sack over his shoulder. When we saw him, we would run up and ask; ‘What’s in the sack, Eddie? He always said- ‘Snakes.’ That’s the Eddie I knew. Your mother wrote a book about Washington. Tell me about that. The Beaufort County Commissioner’s decided they needed a brochure written about the history of Washington for people to read at the bicentennial celebration, which was in 1976. They decided my mother, Pauline Worthy, was the person to write it. They asked her, and after some consideration, she declined, saying she was 74 years old and she couldn’t handle doing it. A few weeks later John Morgan came to our house. He said; ‘Pauline, there is no one but you we want to write this brochure. Will you please do it?’ Mother said that if they could team her up with someone younger

to help her, she would write it. They found Ursula Loy to help her. Ursula had a fulltime job as librarian at the Brown Library, but at nights and on weekend they worked on it. It took them a year or more to finish it. Before she took on that writing project, I would go visit mother. Usually, she was laid up in the bed, and complained about how she felt. She would say- ‘Ford, I ache all over. I don’t feel well. I just can’t do anything today.’ But after she started working on that book, she was full of life- it energized her. The town printed 5000 books and sold about half of them. They stored the rest in the basement of the courthouse. The courthouse basement flooded from a ruptured water pipe and ruined almost all the books. I bought one from a man in New Bern for $60.00. That is no brochure. No, it isn’t. Once they got going, they couldn’t stop. The book is 522 pages.

You have lived in several places. You grew up in Washington, then moved to Charlotte, then here to Raleigh for the last 60 years of your life. Do you ever wish you had grown up somewhere besides Washington? In retrospect, I grew up under the most ideal conditions. I didn’t know that we were in a depression, much less the Great Depression. I knew that we struggled, and that we were very thrifty. I knew the family was stressed, and my father and his partner, Mr. Etheridge, struggled to make a living off their drugstore downtown. I remember there were a lot of Hoover carts (depression era cart made from a single automobile axle, two wheels, and pulled by a mule). When I was growing up, I enjoyed Washington. We had a good time. When I think back on it, I see how blessed I was to have that sort of place to grow up. We didn’t really know what we had.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Sam Mordecai What is your connection to Washington? I was raised in Washington. My mother’s family, the Carters, have been in eastern NC a long time. First Hyde County, then Washington. I moved to Raleigh when I was 25 years old, but I go back to Washington frequently. What do you do when you come to Washington? There is usually a hunting, fishing, or camping trip involved. How do you make a living? I sell cleanroom certification jobs and HEPA filters. I got my start at Flanders Filters in Washington in 1985. Why did you interview Ford Worthy? I visited him after his wife, Isabel, passed away. She was my cousin. Ford told me so many good stories about Washington

that I thought I should record them. I write things down about my time on planet earth. Why do you think it is important to record your history and the memories of others? I have always enjoyed reading books and papers handed down to me from my ancestors. I have also learned that you cannot rely on historians to give you the whole story, about- anything, really. What the average person thinks about their time here is 10,000 times more important than what an historian will say it was 100-200 years from now. You have written a novel, entitled Praying In Pamlico. What do you enjoy writing most- factual or fictional material? Non-fiction is good because you learn about people, their opinions, and experiences. Those

projects are easier to finish than a novel. Writing fiction is fun and extremely challenging. But when you create everything? Well, man, that’s a chore. Did growing up in eastern NC have influence on your desire to write? I think you are always influenced by your childhood experiences. And yes, there is something about the wide-open spaces down there that open up my mind and make me want to describe what I have seen, and felt, in those moments. Those experiences and memories get into your brain and in your blood, and you can’t shake it. Do you have any advice for people who want to write? First of all, I am an amateur. I don’t get confused about my talent level. However, I would give the following advice; you only get

better with practice. That means writing and editing over and over, and then over again. Most people fail to finish anything because they read over what they have written and decide it isn’t good enough. Keep at it and don’t stop until it’s as good as your talent level will allow you to make it. Don’t let it go until it’s perfect. Are you working on any writing projects now? Sure, plenty. Fact and fiction. And most are about Washington. But when I write something and read over it later, I decide it’s not good enough.

MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 33


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TOWN OF BELHAVEN

Shop Local! MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 35


HOME BY DARK

A WALK IN T

A Sunday stroll around East Carolina’s Clark-LeClair Stadium is good for the soul

A

s road trips go, the quick hop over to neighboring Greenville hardly counts as much of a destination. Many of us who call Beaufort County home could drive it blind folded - and in some ways, each trip reminds us of why we live here… and not there. But if you can get past the snarling, third-world traffic and

BY DAVID SINGLETON the mating call of the rattling bass sending shock waves up the rear window of some otherwise junk-heap worthy ’88 Chevy, the burgeoning City to our west does have delights worth exploring. One such treasure: catching a baseball game on the campus of East Carolina. The college baseball season starts early. While the Major Leagues are still shuddering over their cocoa and hot stoves,

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the diamond-nine of our local Pirates are shagging pop-flies and taking batting practice with a brilliant winter sun in their eye. By Valentines Day, college baseball has officially taken the field, with teams from the icy north finding solace in early season road trips to the cold-resistant southland. It’s a rite of passage that fortunately has somehow avoided the creep of commercialization.


THE PARK

Thousands of Pirate Baseball faithful fill Clark LeClair Stadium.

MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 37


Clark-LeClair Stadium was built in 2005 and provided ECU with the ability to host NCAA Regional play.

Given time, the sports marketing Suits will eventually find a way to exploit this quiet corner of college athletics; but for now, we’ll take an afternoon to exist out of the limelight and in the moment. But let’s not get too existential here. While baseball lends itself to gooey overtures, I’m not here to get us all emotional. From the titanic poetry of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s ‘Casey at the Bat’, to the philosophical misfiring of Annie Savoy (played effortlessly by Susan Sarandon) in the 80’s movie ‘Bull Durham’, writers do tend to wax poetic on our beloved game, romanticizing America’s Pastime until it’s little more than a dugout full of wispy ennui; a self-sustaining nostalgia that emanates from a perpetual need for self-justification. Baseball seems to have time for such introspection- taking the hands off the clock and giving your thoughts a chance to wander. On the other hand, if you’ve got time for that kind of internal monologue, you’re not paying attention. After all, there is a game being played. And I picked a good one to come to. On this particular Sunday, the Diamond Bucs are in a late afternoon tilt versus the University of Maryland. The game is the final act of this year’s Keith LeClair Classic; a tournament and memoriam honoring the legacy of a once-

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great and gifted ball coach, taken too soon by ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. During his brief tenure as coach at ECU, LeClair raised the standard for what ECU baseball can do, and in so doing, challenged the collective preconception about who we are and what we can achieve. I used the term ‘we’ because I consider myself part of the extended ECU baseball family; and I feel the inspiration that Coach LeClair provided while in the dugout and from the Great Beyond. It’s a whale of a day to pay tribute and play nine. Besides, it’s a nice day with no jacket required… and the Pirates are winning. As I make my way to the ticket window, practically everything reminds me of how much this is not like going to a football game. Sure, the series-opening Friday night games can get to be howlers, with college kids and the rest of us emotionally arrested postadolescents barking at an umpire or having a one-sided conversation with the center fielder from beyond the outfield fence, but the comparisons end there. By Sunday, the ballpark takes a more relaxed tone. Future Little-League All Stars play catch by the bullpen. Gaggles of teen girls and herds of teen boys amble about in packs,


only occasionally crossing paths with a few nervous pleasantries and the involuntary eye-wander down to their phones. Above this relatively subdued din, the light stanchions burn needlessly under a crystal blue sky. It is a veritable walk in the park. And a nice ballpark it is. Opened in 2005, ClarkLeClair Stadium was built as a bigger and better alternative to the undersized and generally woebegone Harrington Field. With the new digs came the opportunity to host post-season play and create more of a bigtime college atmosphere. The modern version boasts concrete and brick grandstands that rise high above home plate, crowned by a purple and gold tinged press box and flanked by all manner of concessions and amenities. It’s comfortable and convenient, with great sight lines there in the middle of all the action. For ten bucks you can sit close enough to tell what kind of seeds the coach is spitting. But counterintuitively, I walk past all those spoils and head over behind the outfield fence; leaving behind the sanctuary of a numbered seat to the unpredictability of general admission. Even though they call it ‘the jungle’, it’s my native habitat. For the uninitiated, it can be a little intimidating out there, but even though these Pirates have a fearsome reputation, you’re just not going to find a more hospitable or knowledgeable group of fans. And while there are certain cliques that line the perimeter, it’s soon apparent that these are not warring tribes, just different battalions of a diverse

but unified Pirate Nation; rooting on the their team and forming lasting bonds under the well-manicured Live Oaks that surround the field of play. As I look around, I see many of the same stalwart fans manning the same relative spots that they’ve held for years; in some cases, dating all the way back to the ‘old jungle.’ Prior to the reconstruction, the original version was just two rows of towering white pines and a decidedly wilder atmosphere. Early arrivals to these games would back in their trucks all the way to the fence and set up chairs in their truck beds while others looked around for a cinderblock or a milk crate to stand on and catch a view over the six-foot fence. For a while there, I carried a kitchen ladder with me in the back of my ’94 Honda. For me, it was the price of admission. Those were younger days, for sure, reveling under those venerable sap-machines and more times than not, covered with ticks. We were hale and hearty, in full voice and, it’s been reported, a considerable menace to opposing outfielders. Maybe I do get nostalgic about baseball. If there’s a simpler time that the game invents, reimagines or re-creates, then why would I be eager to cast that aside? There is the game of baseball, and then there’s the stuff we bring to the game. Then, there’s a part we leave behind. I’m no expert in any of this, but it’s just possible that this is what nostalgia is for. Taken in moderation, it’s an emotion that’s good for the soul. Just be sure to keep your eye on the ball.

MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 39


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WORD ON WINE

Consider summer menus when selecting wines

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lossom by blossom Spring begins. There are many reasons why we look forward to Spring with enthusiasm. A time of the year when nature promises new life and new hope. Spring is a favorite season for many. It is the time of year when all the love and labor you put into your garden literally comes to fruition. There is nothing more gratifying than having friends and family over and serving up your fresh garden bounty. While many of us delight in our knowledge of wine, it is good to remember it is meant to be enjoyed. Experimenting with different wines outside of your comfort zone can assist in helping you understand your palate and what you like best. You just may find another varietal or two you never thought you would like or never even knew about. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy your favorite Spring fare with wine. It is all a balancing act. Here are some tips for a pleasant eating experience. In this article we are going to explore wine and Spring salad pairings. Remember these are merely suggestions as there is a big wide world of wine to explore and enjoy out there. To begin, you will want to balance the acidity. Let’s look at vinegar first as it can be one of the primary ingredients in salad

BY MARY MEHLICH dressings and sauce. Vinegar tends to make red wines taste drier and more tannic and white wines taste sweeter than they are. Try using fruit juice, such as lemon or lime, infused oils, or rive vinegar instead. Consider lightly sauteing herbs, scallions, shallots, and garlic before adding to your dressing recipe for a more subtle flavor profile and an easier wine pairing. When preparing your dressing add a bit more oil, it helps dial down the acidity. Add in some Dijon mustard, while it still contains vinegar, it is not as acidic and helps to emulsify the dressing. Experiment with oils, nut oil, avocado oil. Or infused oils, they will enhance the end result and add some depth. When you add protein, such seafood or meat, you will pair the wine with the protein you choose as it will be your primary flavor. For instance, if you choose salmon or pork as your protein with dried fruit, it will pair nicely with Gamay (Beaujolais) or a Rose with some depth. A grilled romaine salad with chicken, sweet corn, roasted red pepper and balsamic dressing will pair with an oaky Chardonnay, while a crisp green salad with shrimp and goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc. If you are a red wine drinker, add anchovies, truffles, tamari, aged cheeses, or mushrooms.

Consider the acidity of a salad dressing when pairing salads with wines.

They have natural glutamates that add a savory note to your salad. They allow for more developed wines and even those with a bit of age, to pair well with your salad. Champagne and sparkling wines pair beautifully with a crisp lettuce with soft cheese such as Brie, Camambert, Chevre or Cambozola. Off dry Riesling or Viognier compliments as Asian

salad that may have a kick of heat to it. Again, it is a balancing act. If you are uncertain, make sure you taste and taste again. Don’t be timid about adjusting your dressing ingredients and most of all… enjoy!! Mary Mehlich is the owner of Wine and Words...& Gourmet in Washington.

MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 41


WHAT'S TO EAT

SPRING'S IN THE FARE Celebrate a new season with these colorful, tasty dishes FOOD PREP, PHOTOGRAPHS AND STORY BY VAIL STEWART RUMLEY

S

pring is in the air — and the fare — in this issue of Washington The Magazine. The days are longer, the air is lighter, and that translates to lighter fare on the menu, brought to you by some of the best cooks in Beaufort County. Take advantage of the season with strawberries: if you’re not growing your own, then you can certainly find them at several small, family-owned Beaufort County farms and markets. Whether you pick your own in the field, or pick up a quart at the farmers’ market, this delicious fruit is just as tasty in Delores Mayo’s Easy Strawberry Pie as it is in Erin Eatman’s Splendid Strawberry-Spinach Salad. Primavera is Italian for spring, and we’re celebrating the season internationally with Blair Edwards’ Alfredo Primavera. Fresh vegetables and a creamy Alfredo sauce over pasta make for a lighter, tasty transition to warmer weather. Take Spring on the road, or on a picnic, with Betty Burleson’s macaroni salad during the day, then come home to Nancy Winfrey’s Shrimp and Grits for dinner. Take advantage of what’s growing around you, and make your Spring a lighter, healthier — and happier — opportunity!

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SAUTEED SHRIMP WITH CHEESE GRITS RECIPE BY NANCY WINFREY “PLATE & PALETTE,” BEAUFORT COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL (ARTS OF THE PAMLICO), WASHINGTON Grits: 1 1/2 cups chicken broth; 1 1/2 cups milk; 3/4 cup quick grits; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Shrimp: 1 cup diced bacon; 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined; 1/2 cup thinly sliced strips green bell pepper; 1/2 cup thinly sliced strips red bell pepper; 1/2 cup slivered onion; sliced green onions and shredded cheddar cheese for garnish; Tabasco sauce. To prepare grits, bring chicken broth and milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in grits and salt; return to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook five minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheddar cheese. Keep warm. To prepare shrimp dish, cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet and drain bacon on paper towels; set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the skillet. Add shrimp, peppers and onion; cook until vegetables are tender and shrimp turns pink, about three to five minutes. Season with Tabasco sauce. Stir in bacon. Serve shrimp mixture over warm cheese grits. Garnish with chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.

MANDARIN ORANGE LEAFY SALAD RECIPE BY LESHA BROOKS “FAVORITE RECIPES,” ST. CLAIR’S CHURCH OF CHRIST, BATH 2 bags mixed lettuce; 1 large can Mandarin oranges; 1 bag honey/sugar coated almonds; 1 small purple onion; 1/2 cup olive oil; 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar; 1/4 cup sugar; 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds; salt and pepper. Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan on low heat until sugar dissolves. Let cool, then whisk. Pour dressing over salad and toss just before serving. MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 43


MOZZARELLA-BASIL-TOMATO APPETIZER RECIPE BY VAIL STEWART RUMLEY 1 ball of mozzarella; cherry tomatoes; basil; balsamic glaze. Cut mozzarella into 1/2-inch squares; do the same with the basil. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Spear mozzarella, basil and a cherry tomato half on a toothpick. Make as many as you wish, then drizzle with either balsamic glaze or a good balsamic vinegar. (Cook’s note: this is such a fresh, easy and much-appreciated appetizer. Midsummer, they’re even better with homegrown basil and tomato!)

MACARONI SALAD RECIPE BY BETTY BURLESON “SECOND HEAVENLY HELPINGS,” SWAN QUARTER BAPTIST CHURCH, SWAN QUARTER 1 pound macaroni; 1 large green bell pepper, chopped; 1 small onion, chopped; 4 small carrots, shredded; 1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk; 1 cup vinegar; 2 cups mayonnaise; 1/4 teaspoon pepper; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 cup sugar. Cook macaroni; drain and cool. Add vegetables and mix well. Combine milk, vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add this mixture to the macaroni and vegetables. Mix well. Chill four hours.

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ALFREDO PRIMAVERA RECIPE BY BLAIR EDWARDS “TIME FOR TEA AND OUR FAVORITE RECIPES,” EPHESUS FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH LADIES AUXILIARY, BLOUNTS CREEK 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1 medium onion, chopped; 1 large carrot, thinly sliced; 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets or 1 1/2 cups fresh asparagus; 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced; 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; 1 jar Bertoli creamy Alfredo sauce; 1/2 cup water; 8 ounces linguine or spaghetti, cooked and drained. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and carrot, stirring occasionally, about two minutes. Add broccoli (or asparagus) and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about two minutes. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper and cook less than a minute. Pour in sauce and water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. Serve over hot linguine and garnish, if desired, with fresh basil.


EASY STRAWBERRY PIE RECIPE BY DELORES MAYO “HEAVENLY TREASURES,” HODGES CHAPEL PH CHURCH, CHOCOWINITY 2 pie crusts (one for cross pieces, one for the bottom); 1 pound fresh strawberries (capped and cut into pieces); 3/4 cup sugar; 5 to 6 tablespoons self-rising flour. In a bowl, combine strawberries, sugar and flour. Mix well with spoon. Spoon strawberries into crust. Cut strips from the other crust and place on pie, or you can cover with the other crust and cut slits in the top. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes until crust is brown. MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 45


STRAWBERRY-SPINACH SPLENDID SALAD RECIPE BY ERIN EATMAN “KEYS TO THE KITCHEN, GRACEFULLY REKEYED,” ST. PETER’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, WASHINGTON Salad: 2 bags raw spinach; 1/2-1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled; 1 quart strawberries, sliced; feta cheese to taste. Dressing: 3/4 cup granulated sugar; 1/3 cup vinegar (raspberrybalsamic is best); 1 cup olive oil; 3/4 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon ground mustard; 1 ½ tablespoons grated onion; 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and pour over salad just before serving. (This salad signals the beginning of summer when strawberries are freshly picked and lusciously sweet and juicy. If you cannot find raspberrybalsamic vinegar, experiment with flavoring your own by steeping raspberries in vinegar before use. This works well with raspberries and white vinegar, too.

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MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 47


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CAST A LINE

So, you want to be a Fishing Guide?

M

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY CAPT. RICHARD ANDREWS

y guests often say I have the dream job. I do get to go fishing every day for a living. I do get to enjoy the company of some of the most diverse and interesting people, all while they are in their best possible mood and mindset out on the boat enjoying a day of fishing. I do get to see some amazing sunrises and some of the most comfortable weather one could imagine. I do get to see inexperienced anglers catching their first fish or experienced anglers achieving a lifelong goal of catching a trophy fish. I do get to feel like someone’s hero by showing them one of the best days of their year. I do get to avoid the corporate rat race and not have to go into a cubicle with no office windows. I do get to see some of the most amazing things one could witness in the natural world. I’d say that sounds like the perfect job. On the surface, it seems like a glamorous lifestyle making a living on the water and having tons of fun every day catching lots of fish in a beautiful setting. It is all of that and then some and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing, BUT if you are thinking about quitting your day job to become a fishing guide, let me explain. Being a fishing guide is also a very lonely, gritty, and tough existence. It often requires long hours of working alone with no one to help or advise you. It often requires one to be a jack of all trades. One day you might be changing oil in an outboard motor and the next, rewiring your trailer lights. It often requires extreme preparation and anticipating anything that might happen from when you leave your house in the morning, to when you are on the water fishing, to when you are on your way home. Extra parts, extra tackle, extra clothes, and extra everything are not just smart but completely necessary for a successful day on the water. It often requires physical fortitude and endurance, especially

Henry (left) and Austin (right) with a 50 inch redfish caught on the Pamlico.

when the weather is bad. Persisting through a day of bad weather can be mentally and physically challenging. It often requires a vast knowledge of weather and water conditions, perhaps more than the professional meteorologist who can afford to get it wrong and still keep his/her job. If you make the wrong call, your guests will be miserable and likely not want to return. It often requires the entire skillset of a coach…the ability to help someone improve and offer suggestions without being too critical. It often requires psychiatric therapy skills and the ability to relate and communicate with many different types of people. Sometimes guests are having a tough time in life and want to get out on the water for some therapy and advice from their trusted fishing guide. Some just want to fish and not talk much while others want to talk about anything and everything. It

often requires making a new plan every day, usually totally different than the day before, so that your next day is as productive as it can possibly be. It often requires long hours, while exhausted in front of the computer in the evenings returning emails, texts, voicemails, and posting pictures to your website blog or social media outlets. If often requires many hours of work before and after being on the water during a day of fishing. Every job has its pluses and minuses, but the most important thing is to be passionate about your work. If you love what you do, no job will feel like work, and the drawbacks will be overshadowed by the drive to work hard at something you love. So, do you still want to be a fishing guide? Richard Andrews captains a private fishing boat and knows all the best spots in Eastern North Carolina.

MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 49


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MARCH/APRIL 2022 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 53


WHY I LOVE WASHINGTON

TREASURES in their hearts By LEESA JONES

I

have so many reasons why I love Washington, but the mainstays of my affection are the people and their stories. Growing up here, I learned early in life that people have treasures in their hearts that they are willing to share. As a child, I needed only to walk to the neighborhood store and greet folks sitting on the porch with a “good morning or good evening,” so I would be afforded the opportunity to stop and listen for a few minutes. Just speaking to people gave them a chance to ask me how was school going, or how my grandmother liked her visit to Philadelphia. Then they’d share a story or two about walking down River Road to a school that they attended when they were children or, when they went to New York City to the Savoy Ball Room to hear the Big Bands perform there. Them taking the time to talk with me was a simple act, but it was also a gift.

I think this is where I got my love for people’s stories that eventually guided me into researching almost 300 years of Washington’s history, and eventually starting the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum. No matter where you go in Washington, people seem happy to share a bit of their day with you. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a good morning for people to want to offer you the gift of their wisdom, stories, advice or laughter. Whether dining at the Hackney or eating ‘Nabs’ (snack crackers that got that name when they were made by the Nabisco Company) and drinking a bottle of Coke on the waterfront, this town is full of opportunities to smile, listen and learn. I have found that people can be friendly everywhere you go, but people here take that to another level. I have met thousands

54 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL 2022

of visitors that come to the museum. Whether here for a quick tourism trip, or a week’s stay for a family function, I almost always hear from visitors “this is a friendly town and folks really welcome you here.” I smile and tell them “Yes, I know.” I also know that there are people who don’t feel the way I do and will often voice negative things about living here. To that I say, “gold is where you find it.” “If you look for positive things in this town, you will find it or, you’ll make something positive happen.” If folks open their hearts to the possibilities that are here, Washington has a reservoir of goodwill, wisdom, faith and good stories that plenty of folks can offer them. I love Washington and I’m so thankful I get to call it home. Leesa Jones is a Washington native, the co-founder and co-executive director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum.


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WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE

MARCH/APRIL 2022

VOL. 11

NO.2