ASHINGTO W N T
Arthur Williams is the reigning king of pork
APRIL/MAY 2014 Washington, North Carolina
Blue ribbon recipes
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IN THIS ISSUE
FEATURES & DEPARTMENTS 22
60 Shopping 18 Awarding Gifts: Everything to reward the top of your list
IN THE ARTS 22
Painting towards the light: Telling stories one brushstroke at a time
Smoking the competition: Arthur Williams is pork champion
IN EVERY ISSUE
Blue Ribbon Recipes: Recipes worthy of an award
PAST AND PRESENT 60 38 Award winners: 100-year old building gets a facelift
Wildlife, naturally: Couple earns awards by letting wildlife tell its story
BUSINESS JOURNAL 28
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The Scene Advertiser Index Dining Guide Cast a Line Word on Wine Calendar Why I Love Washington
Washington’s Arthur Williams is the reigning North Carolina whole-hog barbecue champion. See Pastimes on page 34.
4 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
ON THE COVER
ON T G N I H WAS
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NOTE FROM ASHLEY
A Blue Ribbon Place
his is a blue ribbon kind of place. Here, on the banks of the Pamlico River, we’re accustomed to beauty, surrounded by superlatives. Our community boasts some of the finest art, the fastest boats, the best barbecue. Look around and you’ll find some of the best around. Washington the Magazine was recently named one of the state’s best publications in the North Carolina Press Association’s annual contest. The magazine has been honored with the recognition in each year since its inception just over two years ago. To celebrate, we thought we’d publish an issue celebrating some of Washington’s standouts. Out of the shadows, renowned artist Jeff Jakub developed a unique style. The awardwinning talent paints premier watercolors from his home in Pamlico Plantation. Read about his approach to art and life on page 22. Some of the fastest boats on any waters are made right here on the banks of ours. Washington has long been known for its powerboat pageantry, but economic changes required a rebirth of legendary boat building on the Pamlico River. Read about how Baja Marine is bridging the future with tradition on page 28. With its annual Smoke on the Water barbecue competition, it’s little wonder Washington is
home to North Carolina’s reigning whole-hog barbecue champion. Arthur Williams has been high on the hog since claiming the title last year in Raleigh. Read all about how he smokes the competition on page 34. A Pulitzer-prize-winning newspaper turned to an award-winning construction company when it decided to renovate the office space inside its 100-year old building. WIMCO and the Washington Daily News have an interesting history recounted by the Rawls family. Learn more about it on page 38. Using eastern North Carolina wildlife refuges as a canvas, STRS Productions has been bringing the hardware home to Washington. Wildlife documentarians Blake and Emily Scott allow nature to be the star of the show in their award-winning films. Read about their adventures on page 60. I hope you enjoy reading about some of our best in this issue of Washington the Magazine and that you’ll take advantage of all the topnotch talent, work and creativity Washington has to offer. Wishing you all the best,
Ashley Vansant Publisher
would love to hear what you think about Washington the Magazine. Email us at news@ Write We thewashingtondailynews.com 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 | APRIL/MAY 2014
Ashley Vansant Editorial
David Cucchiara Jonathan Rowe Vail Stewart Rumley Mike Voss Contributors Mark Collie Kevin Scott Cutler Jane Olsen Will Preslar Advertising Director Kathryn Powell Marketing & Sales Brandi Bragg Ed Drew Cecilia Prokos Debbie Waida Distribution Sylvester Rogers 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. Copyright 2014, Washington Newsmedia, LLC
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OUT AND ABOUT
Opening Night of Turnage Theater Opening night at the Turnage Theater. Turnage supporters and spoken-word performance fans turned out for the first performance at the Turnage Theater since it closed in December of 2012. Under new ownership — the Beaufort County Arts Council — the theater came back to life in January with a performance by poet Glennis Redmond.
Barbara Turnage and William Edmundson
Marie Bright, Linda Ferguson and Allama Coley
Bernice and Jay Marle
Hutch and Susan Stewart
Ruth Cauvin and Helen Summerkamp
Dorita Boyd and Jakob Pernov
M.J. Peters and Pat Cooke
Shelby and Larry Smithwick
Catherine Patrick, Joey Toler and Eleanor Rollins
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 9
OUT AND ABOUT
Chamber Banquet Chamber members and business folks galore came out for the annual Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce banquet at the Washington Yacht & Country Club. Awards for handed out for those businesses, and business people, who had a positive impact on the area — through innovation, practices and outreach — over the past year.
Bill Wall and Nick Nicholson
Paul Tine, Ray and Teresa Moore
Bridget Jefferson, Laura Gerard and Susie Taylor
Mac Hodges and N.C. Representative Paul Tine
David and Debra Dirks
10 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Dianne and Ed Hamrick
Leigh & Richard Gertz
Pat Lewis, Rebecca Clark and Les Robinson
Ed and Kay Summerfield
OUT AND ABOUT
Richard Gertz, Leigh Gertz, Nancy Furlough and Lauren Sorenson
Galen and Jeanne Lee Niederhauser
Debbi Gaskins and Julie Hicks
Walt Gerard and Ashley Vansant
Melissa and Burt Simons
William and Susie Taylor
Christ Prokos and Derik Davis
Jimmy and Dorcus Oakley
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE â€˘ 11
OUT AND ABOUT
Noon Rotary Reverse Raffle Washington noon Rotary Club held its annual Reverse Raffle at the Washington Civic Center on March 14. The popular event (and a chance to win a big pot of cash) pulled a crowd in for the fundraiser that benefits many area nonprofits and Rotary’s student scholarship fund.
William Taylor, Charles Phillips, Gray Dean and Will Taylor
Remanda St. Clair, Mitch St. Clair and Lisa Roberts
Michael Bilbro and Whit Blackstone
Rachel Wood and Amanda VanStaalduinen
Suzie Taylor and Vickie Buckman
Herman Gaskins, Sandy Ratcliff and Whit Whitley
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Jim & Shelby Phillips and Walker & Stacey Lynch
Barbara Dell Carter, Suzanne Gray and Rotary’s District Governor Elect Lee Martin Adams
OUT AND ABOUT
THE SCENE Herman Gaskins III, Cynthia Slagle, Alba Rauschenbach and Andrea Walter
Al and Teresa Whitney
Casey Cox and Bridget Bilbro
Jim and Connie Hackney
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE â€˘ 13
OUT AND ABOUT
Taste of Washington Residents and visitors alike got a taste of the best of Washington (and other communities) at the second annual “Taste the Good Life in Little Washington” event at the Washington Civic Center on Feb. 27. Those in attendance sampled the wares from local vendors of food, spirits and other great retail products. The event, hosted by the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.
Kevin and Jenny Rawls, Kelly and Selden Taylor
Aaron Adams and Marvin Alligood, Stewart’s Jewelry Store
Allison Mordecai and Brenda Respess, The Rich Company
Russell and Misty Davenport, Sheriff Alan Jordan
Ann Jones and Teri-Sue Salter
Ann Martin and Karen Broadway, The Meeting Place
Hazel Arnold, Marty Bell and Laura Darre
14 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Teresa and Mark Van Staalduinen, Spoon River
Rhonda Lyons, Russell and Denice Smith
OUT AND ABOUT
Mandy Bunch, Austin and Kristen Smithwick, Catherine Glover, Terry and Connie Smithwick
Ginny Pfeiffer and Katherine Tate
Mark and Carol Everett
Harold and Tracy Robinson
Nancy Furlough, Leigh Gertz and Tracey Robinson
Jay Boyd, Ashley Jill and Lindsay Spicey, Bill’s Hotdogs
Monica and Justin Ferrari
Caroline Walker, Mila Arnold and Anita Cutler
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 15
OUT AND ABOUT
Wildlife Festival Opening Reception
Each year at the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships in Washington, an opening reception is held the Friday night before the festival opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday. This year’s reception at the Civic Center included an invitation-only oyster roast for local dignitaries, exhibitors and vendors.
Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. and Penny Sermons
Julius and Betty Dees and District Court Judge Christ McLendon and Nan McLendon
Roxanne and Phil Holloman
Karla Adcock, Shannon Demming and Michael Adcock
ADVERTISER INDEX 692 Olive, 59
Eye Care Center, 47
Phillips-Wright Furniture, 17
Allstate Insurance, 47
Farm Bureau, 37
Precision Eye Care, 8
Andrea Heekins, 58
Feyer Ford, 2
Scott Campbell, Century-21, 65
Apollo’s Steakhouse, 45
Gail Kenefick, 57
Select Bank, 17
Backwater Jacks Tiki Bar & Grill, 44
Gerri McKinley, 58
Beaufort County Community College, 67
GoldenWay Home Care, 58
State Farm, 5
Bell Trucking Co., 3
Gordon Golf, Ski & Snowboards, 59
Stewart’s Jewelry Store, 7
Brenda Evans, Century-21, 8
Gregory Poole, 65
Tayloe’s Hospital Pharmacy, 5
Capelli Salon, 17
Happy Girls, 59
The Bank Bistro & Bar, 45
Cottage Junkies, 8
Jack’s Tavern at Fiddler’s Green, 44
The Pink Buoy, 17
D & H Equipment, 64
Lone Leaf Gallery, 48
The Rich Company, 43
David C. Francisco, 47
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, 57
Vidant Health, back cover
Eastern Dermatology & Pathology, 57
New Trends In Travel, 48
Washington Yacht & Country Club, 44
Edward Jones, 3
On The Waterfront, 48
Wells Fargo Advisors, 5
Electronic Solutions, 59
Patio & Hearth Shop, 59
Wine & Words…& Gourmet, 17
Executive Personnel, 3
Pair Electronics, 5
16 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Photo by Larry Boyd
246 West Main St. Downtown Washington, NC
Sponsored by the Washington Harbor DistrictAPRIL/MAY Alliance 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE â€˘ 17
WHATâ€™S IN STORE
Awarding gifts Written by Jonathan ROWE PHOTOS by WILL PRESLAR
Along the boardwalk Shed the winter with a bold statement for spring with this Flying Tomato dress. Inspired by urban prints and pattern play, this collection gives a nod to streetwear style, while aiming to stay true to the spirit of the boho girl. Find Flying Tomato at the Pink Buoy, downtown Washington. $39
Fishbowl or Bowlfish? Either way you look at it, Fish-Fish by Vietri, inspired by the famous Sicillian ceramic artist, Giovanni De Simone, is an updated version of the classic collection first introduced in 1990. Celebrated artisan Allessandro Taddei uses De Simone's bright, bold colors and stories of nature to create this decade's Fish-Fish. Handpainted in Tuscany on terra cotta, this dishwasher safe pitcher can be found at Stewart's Jewelry Store, downtown Washington. $182
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Southern Classics With spring approaching, the warm weather will bring most to swap coats and sweaters for cooler attire. The Southern Tide Skipjack Polo is the best, most comfortable classic polo ever made. Constructed of true-vent micro pique, a brushed cotton interior, double-reinforced seams and rib knit collar and sleeve bands optimized to maintain shape, you will agree that its unique fit and custom fabric have redefined the polo shirt. Available in 20 different colors for spring. Find these polos at Russell's, downtown Washington. $72 each
King me On the river, nautical-themed items are always in demand. Although the nautical checkerboard with shells and sand dollar pawns is meant for gaming the old-fashioned way, this piece makes for great home decor. Find the checkerboard, complete with shells and sand dollars at Nauti Life, downtown Washington. $72.95
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE â€˘ 19
WHAT’S IN STORE
Music to your eyes No one can appreciate "Music in the Streets" by Dan Nelson, a Raleigh artist, like the people of Beaufort County. This depiction of the April to October, every 3rd Friday tradition, can now be enjoyed year-round by the avid art fan. Find "Music in the Streets" at Inner Banks Artisan Center, downtown Washington. $1500
Pinch me, I’m dreaming Accessorize your river or beach house with a pillow by Peking Handicraft, Inc. This 18" x 18", poly-fill, wool and cotton pillow is perfect for decoration or a comfortable place to lay your head after a long day out on the river. Find the "Crab Shack Green" pillow at Cottage Junkies, downtown Washington. $50
Back to basics In a world of technology, a note-card set seems obsolete. However, this Stork Studios set by local artist Jennifer Calfee is handy for sending a relative or friend a personalized thank you, get well or thinking of you. Find the set at Cottage Junkies, downtown Washington. $12
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Toting in style Everyone has their own unique way of carrying necessities to the beach ... Mud Pie offers theirs. This roomy bag with its sophisticated style can go from holding your towel and sunscreen to a night out with the girls. A glamorous take on the beach tote, it's big enough to carry all of your beach necessities or personal items. The cotton linen beach tote with gold shimmer has vegan leather sides and a gold sea icon medallion with a removal tassel key chain. Several colors available. Personalize your handbag at Blue Crab Monogramming by Meredith Dixon. Find the sea life icon tote at Nauti Life, downtown Washington. Handbag, $45.95, Handbag with personalized monogram, $55.95
Time for tea Brighten up your kitchen or bathroom with tea towels by Stork Studios. Jennifer Calfee, local artist, brings to life nautical-themed, hand-printed designs that are one of a kind. 100 percent cotton, machine wash, hang to dry. Find them at Cottage Junkies, downtown Washington. $18
Hues of an heirloom A homegrown line from the Old North State, Slane creations are meant to be handed down from mother to daughter. The multicolor Nuage cool palette series by Slane uses 100 percent recycled sterling silver. Exciting and beautiful — never predictable, but always appropriate. Find this collection at Stewart's Jewelry Store, downtown Washington. Pendant with necklace, $425. Ring, $345. Earrings, $275 APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 21
IN THE ARTS
Painting toward the light
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APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 23
Jeff Jakub has a large collection of watercolor paintbrushes, one that rivals his collection of die cast 1/18th-scale model cars that share the painter’s studio.
24 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE
Jeffrey Jakub, American Watercolor Society signature member, stands before a wall of paintings during the opening of his and fellow watercolorist Pat Holscher’s show at the Turnage Theater gallery. Immediately behind Jakub is his painting “Kaleidoscope,” which won Best in Show at the 2013 Beaufort County Arts Council Fine Arts Show.
Telling stories one brushstroke at a time
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS by VAIL STEWART RUMLEY
e’s old-world charm, quick with a wink and a pithy comment. A brooding figure that’s always impeccably dressed. He knows his value, yet is surprisingly self-deprecating — sometimes. His work is celebrated far and wide, because it’s not just good, it’s very close to perfect. Each piece is a perfect play of shadow and light, rendering the impossible medium of watercolor into near-photographic paintings. But those who look at a Jeff Jakub’s work and only see his technical skill may just be missing the point of his paintings entirely.
It’s not about what you see. It’s about what you feel when you see it. “As you see, I like everything, but my favorite thing I like to paint is the human condition,” Jakub says. Jakub is sitting in his studio, on the ground floor of his and Rima Jakub’s Pamlico Plantation condo. Here, he’s surrounded by things he loves: paintings he’s done over the years, a wedding portrait of Rima in the dress he designed for her, a large collection of die cast 1/18-scale collectible cars, along with hundreds of brushes and paints in a controlled disarray. Upstairs is Rima Jakub’s domain — the works hanging on the walls are those she loves. But each is
unique because it tells a story, one of Jakub’s creation. In his many travels, yes, he will pull out a camera to capture a moment in time, but what he does with the image afterward is part reality, part imagination and all emotional truth. “I try to see beyond the image and get the spirit of it. … When I go someplace, travel, I don’t want to see the obvious. I want to turn down the side streets and see the reality of it,” Jakub says. “I’m trying to share an experience — my love or admiration or understanding of it. I want you to feel that presence the way I did.” The results may resemble eerily precise reproductions of photographs,
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 25
Art abounds in Jeff and Rima Jakub’s Pamlico Plantation home. Here, a ceramic piece by Andree Richmond is a whimsical portrait of the couple — Jeff Jakub as tiger, Rima Jakub as zebra — framed by a watercolor of two zebras painted by Jeff Jakub for his wife.
but they turn out to not be reproductions at all. They are, instead, composites that create a new reality. “It’s the one thing in my life I have control over and it’s even more gratifying when you have an
26 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
uncontrollable medium that you have learned to tame,” he says. An elderly black man sitting on a truck tailgate in Atlanta, an weathered gas station on a road outside Bethel, an old truck in New Jersey — puzzle pieces whose edges
are blended together with water, paints and Jakub’s imagination. “There’s the man, there’s the Whitehurst gas station and there’s the Ford. They were elements that needed to come together to tell a story,” Jakub says. His precision with watercolor may have come from a successful career as an illustrator of menswear, home furnishings, lighting fixtures and more, but his passion for art made its appearance early in life. Jakub grew up in a rough neighborhood in Newark, N.J., imagination and creativity providing an escape that could turn a matinee viewing of “The Greatest Show on Earth” into his own backyard stage, complete with colorful clothespin characters he’d painted. His work drew the attention of teachers in high school and later, at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art, he thrived. “None of the teachers were professors. They were all working artists in their professional fields,” he explains. He became one of those working artists, but it was years later, when he and Rima brought their son Todd down South to look at colleges that they saw a sign for Pamlico Plantation and within days, found their new home. At the time, Jakub was working as creative director of an ad agency, commuting to Atlanta two weeks out of every month, but
Jeff Jakub at work in his studio — creating the new while surrounded by his paintings that still speak the most to him.
their new lifestyle and the migration of hand-drawn illustrations to computer-generated work led Jakub to gravitate back to fine art. “I’ve always done fine art along with the commercial, but I just switched percentages,” he says. His signature style, however, has its roots in one ordinary painting. “I had a turning point. I did a Victorian house and I painted it and it was okay,” Jakub describes. Dissatisfied, he decided to paint shadows into the piece. It was the beginning of what defines his work today — nearly photographic at times, but darker, more evocative.
“The drama came in shadowing it — it took on new life. I don’t approach painting the way most watercolorists do. I put the darks in, then work towards the light.” His style has earned him the American Watercolor Society’s signature membership, a coveted honor within the international organization, as well as memberships in the Southern Watercolor Society and the Watercolor Society of North Carolina. Over the years, his work has won every award possible at the Beaufort County Arts Council’s annual Fine Arts Show — just last
year, he finally took home the show’s BCAC, an event that has spurred Jakub to set new goals for himself. “Stop and smell the roses” is a phrase that Jakub may laugh about, but in practice, does not take lightly. He’s intent on doing exactly that: experiencing life and sharing his experience through his work. “‘Stop and smell the roses?’ Well, I’m planting them, I’m cultivating them, I’m smelling them, I’m cutting them and giving them away,” he laughs. “I hope I live long enough, because I have several thousand paintings to produce.”
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Laminator Claude Moore is puts the final touches on a mold.
Refurbishing tradition 28 â€˘ WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
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Facing page: Customer Service Lamination Technician Rufus Williams works on the first ever Fountain Powerboat produced by the headquarters. The boat will eventually be put on display in the entranceway of the primary warehouse. Above: Glen Edwards and Roger Witherington rigging a deck to be placed on a powerboat. Right: Baja Marine President Johnny Walker stands alongside a powerboat soon be headed to Russia.
Top-notch facilities, quality products, award-winning performance
Written by David Cucchiara | Photographs by WILL PRESLAR
he Baja Marine headquarters on the banks of the Pamlico River emits an aura of tradition and quality like no other facility in the Washington area. Trophies, recent and from years past, line the halls of the front office, paying homage to some of the top high-performance powerboats in the industry — Fountain, Donzi, Pro-Line and Baja. “We’ve won more SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) tournaments between Proline, Fountain and Donzai than anyone else,” boasted Johnny Walker,
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president of Baja Marine. “We hold all the performance records for v-bottom boats. I’ve got a race boat out here that we’re working on that we introduced and won the race in New York.” In September of 2013, Fountain took first place in the twin-engine factory class category on the world’s biggest powerboat stage, the New York Superboat Grand Prix. “I think the quality of our products compete with anyone out there,” Walker said. “From a price point, we’re less money than Cigarette, less money than Outerlimits, and we’re at least that caliber of quality. I think our boats perform
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 31
Powerboat Headquarters houses former President George H. Bush’s custom Fountain Powerboat. The presidential seal can be found stitched on the back on the drivers’ seat.
better. On the fishing boat end of it, the quality of our boats are as good as a Boston Whaler, but they’re not near that money.” The success of Baja Marine’s lineup starts with Walkers’ newly implemented, overtly systematic manufacturing process. The factory works like an elongated assembly line, each boat taking about six to eight weeks on average to create. Some boats, depending on the size, could take up to three-times longer. What should be a messy environment is clean and organized, each of the factory’s workers responsible for maintaining their workplace to Walker’s arduous standards. Most
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of Baja Marine’s 70 employees have worked in Washington for decades and were kept through the transition of ownership. Each is skilled not only in their assigned duty, but the entire factory process for every model in each line. “They’re the best built boats in the country,” Walker said. “There’s more pre-owned Pro-Lines out there than any other boat brand. Fountain and Donzi are the two biggest names in performance boat manufacturing in the world. There are more Fountain and Donzi boats produced than any other boat, probably than any other two brands. Both of them have done extremely well on the
racing circuit. Both of them have done extremely well on the fishing circuit.” Surviving the Storm In the midst of the most recent economic depression, devising ways to save the crumbling American auto industry scattered the headlines as a prototypical blueprint for a stable financial recovery. Legislation was presented to Congress, agreed upon, and taxpayer-funded stimuli bailed out prominent auto companies like General Motors. As one industry slowly recovered, another was
sinking into oblivion—boat manufacturing. Boaters resorted to downsizing their vessels, trading in their oversized rigs for smaller ones. Forced to sell to wholesalers, dealers like General Electric and Textron Marine could no longer get funded, and more people began to view boating as a luxury rather than a necessity. Reggie Fountain’s once thriving Washington factory off Whichard’s Beach Road had downsized from hundreds to just a few dozen employees, and could no longer sustain itself. It needed saving. “When the economy crashed, the first things that went were boats and RVs,” Walker said. “The performance boats have really taken a bashing over the years. We lost 95 percent of that market when the world shut down. When the money faucet got shut off, we lost 95 percent of that business in the industry.” For powerboat manufacturing to “stay afloat,” consolidation was necessary. Liberty, a Florida company managing the assets of Pro-Line and Donzi boats, purchased Fountain Powerboats and Baja (owned by Fountain) in 2010. The company relocated its facility and merged all four brands under one roof, Reggie Fountain’s 250,000 square-foot facility on the Pamlico River. Walker took the reigns, revitalizing and reconditioning the facility to fit new standards — his standards. Walker was presented the opportunity to make the production of four already awardwinning brands more efficient, and
Trophies line the main office at the Fountain Boat Headquarters, evidence of an award-winning past.
improve upon the quality, speed and marketability of the final product. “When times are tough, you embrace all of your customers,” Walker said. “We used to say the dealer was our customer, and the retail guy was the dealer’s customer. Now, they’re both our customer.” Today, Fountain, Donzi, Baja and Pro-Line are on the road to financial stability, as their boats continue to win awards under new leadership. Fountain Boats has always
been a brand synonymous with the Pamlico River. With four brands now taking up residence, the boating industry’s road to recovery has started and will end on the banks of the river. “I took over for Reggie. Here in the area, I was unsure of whether or not that was a good thing or a bad thing, quite candidly,” Walker said. “Mostly everyone I talk to has been very friendly, very cordial and very welcoming. “It’s a business and people in the area accept that it’s a business… and businesses change.”
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 33
Arthur Williams displays his trophy.
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Smoking the competition Washington’s Arthur Williams is the reigning North Carolina whole-hog barbecue champion
Written by MIKE VOSS | Photographs by WILL PRESLAR
orth Carolina is known for its barbecue, whether it’s the vinegar-based eastern style or tomato-based western style (Lexington style) barbecue. Being selected as the state’s wholehog barbecue champion means taking on and defeating some of the best whole-hog cookers in the nation. It also means bragging rights. Washington’s own Arthur Williams currently owns those bragging rights, having won the 29th-annual Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship in Raleigh during the Sept. 28-29,
2013, weekend. He competed against 29 of the best pig cookers in the state in downtown Raleigh. The N.C. Pork Council sponsors the annual contest. Williams is the chief cook with the Trade Mart Traders barbecue team based in Washington. Williams, a former state legislator, has been perfecting his barbecue skills for about a dozen years. Williams has competed in numerous barbecue contests, including Washington’s annual Smoke on the Water. What does it take to be the North Carolina wholehog barbecue champion?
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 35
Above left: Arthur Williams reacts moments after being named the state’s whole-hog barbecue champion for 2013. Above right: The cooking rig used by Arthur Williams to win the state title. Right: Arthur Williams (center) is flanked by two of the barbecue judges, Anna Laurel, a TV news anchor, and Mark Daughtry, a member of the N.C. Pork Council’s board of directors. They were members of the blind-taste judges team. PHOTOS COURTESY OF N.C PORK COUNCIL
36 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
“I thought I could cook a pig until I started cooking in these contests, and then I find out that I really couldn’t,” Williams said. “Cooking in the state and these (other) contests is entirely different than cooking in the backyard. Most people say, ‘Just put him on 300 degrees and cook him — and that’s it.’ I went to the (N.C.) Pork Council and got certified as a judge. That helped me a whole lot. Then my wife and I went to Beckley, W.Va., and we both took a class up there and got certified as judges in the Kansas City style, which is smoke. I think that really kind of told me what the judges are looking for. When I found out what the criteria were, then I went to working on that.” Winning the barbecue contest at PirateFest last year in Greenville qualified Williams for the 2013 state contest. “I’m one of two people who have won the professional group at ECU. I think the other one was Charlie Meeks,” Williams said. Williams credits Meeks, a former North Carolina barbecue champion, with helping him win the 2013 state title. Meeks won the Smoke on the Water barbecue contest four years straight, from 2002 to 2005. Williams and Meeks often cook side by side at competitions, when possible. As for any secrets to his success when it comes to cooking whole hogs, Williams politely declines to divulge them, except for one. Doing so could give his competitors advantages in future barbecue competitions. Williams uses a cooking oil that differs from what most other competitor use, but he would not identify the oil. With the arrival of warmer weather came the beginning of a new barbecue season. Williams will be making the rounds during that season. His first competition this year will be at the fifth-annual Pig in the Park in Goldsboro on April. He will miss the 2014 PirateFest to keep a promise to a friend whose husband died late last year. “I promised her I would cook in the Goldsboro cook-off in memory of her husband,” Williams said. “It’s the same weekend as the one at ECU. That kind of hurt me because I wanted to cook over at ECU. I think it’s best for me to do the one in Goldsboro.”
The cooking rig used by Arthur Williams to win the state title.
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 37
PAST AND PRESENT
Award winners 100-year old building gets facelift Written by VAIL STEWART RUMLEY | Photographs by MARK COLLIE
n award-winning construction company and a Pulitzer prizewinning newspaper embarked on the renovation of a 100-year old building last year. In record time — less than 120 days — a workspace once defined by close walls and low ceilings, redolent with the odor of decades ink rolling onto page after page of history, was transformed into an architectural wonder, revealing the long buried bones of a beautiful space. The history between the two goes much further back in time, with a lifelong friendship between the two leaders of these companies, and of the community: Ashley Futrell, then owner of the Washington Daily
38 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
News, and Clarence A. Rawls Sr., who, along with his brother in law Terry Dickens, started Washington Iron and Metal Company in 1950. “Back then, that’s when they got stuff done,” said Clarence Rawls’ son, Artie. “Those guys made decisions and before you left, someone was outside getting it done.” WIMCO The ability to get things done has been passed down through generations of the Rawls family: Washington Iron and Metal Company is now known as WIMCO. Though its humble roots were in the scrap metal business, a booming business in the years following
World War II, the company has earned a reputation for its practical and functional commercial and industrial construction. More remarkable is that a company that began as a family business has remained so through its 64 years, as it’s grown to a 50-employee, $50,000,000-yearcash-volume company. WIMCO has passed down through three generations of the Rawls family. Both of Clarence Rawls’ sons, Artie and Jeryl, would earn engineering degrees and go off to careers outside of WIMCO — Artie Rawls with Texas Gulf and Flanders Filters; Jeryl Rawls with Brown and Root in Texas. But the two would join forces in 1971 and capitalize on the company their father had founded. It didn’t take long
A new look defines the Washington Daily News now, thanks to the work and vision of WIMCO, a hometown business that’s been around nearly as long as the paper.
APRIL/MAY 2014 2014 || WASHINGTON WASHINGTON THE THE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE •• 39 39 APRIL/MAY
Restored brick walls add warmth to the new office space. Mortar had to be touched up, some bricks replaced, and the whole sealed to achieve the look.
Original windows let lots of light into the publisherâ€™s office, with a view of Market Street. A conference room on the opposite side of the front door has the same sunny outlook.
40 â€˘ WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Artie Rawls remembers the day in 1954 when the company moved the printer’s press to its new location at the corner of Market and Third streets: “We all came out looking like we had been covered in tar—(the press) was down in a hole, a concrete hole.” Here WIMCO founder Clarence A. Rawls is pictured studying the underpinnings on the day the press was moved.
before their work was recognized around Washington: the Hamilton Beach factory, the Warren Airfield, the National Guard Armory, schools and restaurants. For Artie Rawls, growing the family business meant education. “One of my dreams was for each superintendent to have a college degree in construction management,” Artie Rawls said. The Rawls achieved that dream and set a precedent for education and knowledge. Both Artie and Jeryl Rawls would retire (Jeryl remains the current CEO), but WIMCO President Kevin Rawls has
continued the tradition. In addition to its many project awards, WIMCO is now considered an industry leader in the use of computer technology. “We embraced technology early on and it’s allowed us to be multistate and stay here,” said Kevin Rawls. WIMCO supervisors carry laptops on the job and each jobsite can be accessed from WIMCO’s home base in Washington via live web cams, giving Kevin Rawls virtual access to every WIMCO project in the country. While WIMCO continues to build
locally — the recently completed Precision Eye Care complex on U.S. Highway 17 is one example —the company is now licensed in 10 states. Kevin Rawls said he expects WIMCO’s out of state crews to be very busy in the coming years. “We’re spreading our wings,” he added. The renovation Turning a century-old building into a work of architectural beauty was no easy task. It took a year and a half of planning and an outside architect to study the bones of the building in order to unveil APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 41
Restored tin ceilings rising high in the air, ecofriendly lighting and a combination of tile and carpet flooring give a new and modern look to a building constructed in 1912.
its potential. WIMCO seemed the logical choice because the company is known for its work keeping businesses open and operating while renovations and expansions occur around them. While the office of the Daily News may have needed a renovation, it couldn’t stop the daily work of getting a newspaper out. Though renovation and restoration was not one of WIMCO’s specialties, according to Kevin Rawls, it became one when the job came up. “Part of that was knowing the history,” Kevin Rawls said. “It was special to me — to know that my grandfather had been down (working) in that floor of the Washington Daily News — and I knew that I just had to do this project. Looking back, it went
42 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
real smooth based on the age of the building.” Walls were demolished and replaced with columns and beneath the acoustic tile of the dropped ceilings, a treasure of original tin ceilings was revealed. “It was a lot of hard work — taking each piece down, stacking it, rebending it so it will fit, then methodically putting it back up. You had to take care and look for the end result,” Rawls explained. Layers upon layers of paint were painstakingly removed, using several different stripping methods, until the building’s original brick walls were exposed. Even in their natural state, time had eroded mortar and several bricks were beyond saving. WIMCO’s crew used tuckpointing — the process of
placing wet mortar into joints to repair the old masonry — and the replacement of old bricks with new to restore walls. In the publisher’s office, a doorway in the original brick wall was filled in, and the lot of it was sealed. The end result, an open, modern space with vaulted ceilings, softened by the warmth of red brick—a combination of new and old. Kevin Rawls credits his jobsite superintendent, Bryan Buck, with the quality achieved in so little time. “He made it happen,” Kevin Rawls said. “To take it from that, to what it is, I’m extremely pleased with how the project turned out. That’s not just for print. I mean, you can walk in and see the quality. It’s a night and day transformation.”
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44 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
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APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 45
CAST A LINE
Spring brings shadness
Written by CAPT. RICHARD ANDREWS
pring is a much-anticipated time of year for fishermen on the Pamlico River. For the true river rats, spring brings many options: shad in lower Tar, stripers in the lower Tar and upper Pamlico, speckled trout is the creeks off the Pamlico and puppy drum in the higher saline marshes of the lower Pamlico. One of my favorite pastimes of early spring is fishing for the "poor man's tarpon" or shad. They are aptly named because of their amazing fighting ability on light tackle and ability to make acrobatic leaps in the air in attempt to throw your hook. Capt. Richard Andrews (right) displays an impressive spring Growing up in Tarboro as boy, I remember all hickory roe shad. the die-hard shadsters hitting the river early in the its abundance of mature female white “roe” shad, a spring and getting a jump on most of the other much sought-after catch by local shadsters. fishermen. Everyone was chomping at the bit after The shad has a prominent position in American a long winter of no fishing, so the shad run slowly history, and some would argue that it led to the became referred to as "March Shadness," after founding of our country. Some refer to shad as the NCAA basketball tournament slogan, “March Madness.” The old-time veteran shadsters in Tarboro “The Founding Fish,” and there is even a book titled “The Founding Fish” by John McPhee, which used to say that the shad would arrive when the dogwoods first started blooming. In the Washington is a very detailed and interesting account covering every detail of the species. Some argue that the area, the shad run typically starts a bit earlier, in great early spring shad run up the Schuylkill River late February. Shad are an important resource for commercial fishermen and recreational fishermen in in Virginia in 1778 saved George Washington's army at Valley Forge from starvation and subsequently the spring on the Tar-Pamlico River system. influenced the outcome of the Revolutionary War. On the Tar, we have two species of shad: hickory If you would like to be a part of history and enjoy shade and American, or white, shad. Hickory and the spring shad run in the Tar River, I encourage American shad are anadromous fish, which means you to get out there and experience shad. You'll they live most of their life in saltwater and spawn be hooked! in freshwater. Each year, they make the long trek in from the Atlantic Ocean (many of the fish that spawn in North Carolina spend much of the year Capt. Richard Andrews is a resident of Washington in the Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada). The area and the owner of a local year-round guide service offering between Tarboro and Rocky Mount is the primary fishing excursions spawning ground for the Tar River shad. Other rivers on the Pamlico and such as the Neuse and the Roanoke experience nearby rivers. He can similar shad-spawning runs. While the Roanoke be reached at 252hosts a greater quantity of shad consisting of mostly 945-9715 or richard@ hickories, the Tar is known for a better variety with tarpamguide.com
46 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
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WORD ON WINE
Abundance of choices
Written by James McKelvey and Yvonne Sedgwick
e recently spent a week in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, the birthplace of Sherry wine. We toured bodegas (where the wine is made) and learned a lot about this very unique wine. We discovered that the only way to get the richness and style of true Sherry is from grapes grown on the soil and under the sun of this particular corner of southwestern Spain. And the yeasts that are on the grapes when they’re harvested and in the barrels and bodegas when the fermentation occurs are found nowhere else. They give the wine a special flavor. Growing, handling, aging — all in “the Sherry Triangle” — creates one of the great wines of the world. Then we traveled up to the nearby mountains to visit the place where the world-famous Payoyo cheese is made. More important than seeing the factory, we also saw the herds of sheep and goats grazing on the rocky hillsides around Grazalema. The wild herbs and specific grasses that grow in this area give the milk a flavor and aroma that makes the cheese ... well, something special. But later, as we walked around the town of Jerez and stopped at several wine and food shops, we were surprised that all we could find were Jerez (Sherry) wines. And in the markets, all we found were local cheeses and chorizos and fish. Now these things are lovely. They’re part of the reason we travel. And we pay a lot to have them imported to us over here. But they’re not all there is. Compare that with here in Washington, North Carolina, where in our little store we carry honey
from Pantego, salami from Greensboro, local produce in the summertime, and several North Carolina cheeses. We love “local,” and it’s all good; but we want international, too. That’s because food and wine are products of the land and culture they come from. There really is a difference between Ashe County Hoop Cheese and Manchego from La Mancha, between Yadkin Valley Chardonnay and PouillyFuissé. We can’t produce a local Sherry, a local Chorizo, a local Manchego. So we import those. We are very fortunate to live in an area of food abundance. In the summertime we get fresh shrimp and blue crab and flounder. We like to pair those fresh local seafoods with crisp, white Albariño wine from the rugged Galician seacoast of Spain. And our fresh, local goat cheese tops a salad of fresh, local tomatoes, and we pair it with crisp Sauvignon Blanc wine from Sancerre, France. The U.S. is a diverse place, with food and wine traditions that have been brought by immigrants from all over the world. We love the fact that we can get Gorgonzola cheese made by an Italian-American family with the milk from Wisconsin cows. But we also love that we can get Idiazabal cheese from the Basque foothills of the Pyrenees. There’s a world of good taste out there, and we’re pleased to be able to bring it to you on Main Street. James “The Wine Guy” McKelvey and “Chef Yvonne” Sedgwick are proprietors of Wine & Words ... & Gourmet in downtown Washington.
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 49
Blue Ribbon Recipes 50 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 51
Peppercorn Crusted Lamb Chops
Recipes worthy of an award Written by KEVIN SCOTT CUTLER Food PREPARATION By JANE OLSEN AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY VAIL STEWART RUMLEY
hile Oscars and Grammy awards aren't handed out for fine dining, if they were, folks along the Pamlico River would certainly have more than their fair share of trophies. Beaufort County is known for its talented cooks, and oftentimes recipes are handed down from generation to generation. But even those of a newer vintage are lovingly prepared, and an invitation to dinner is a treasure indeed. In this issue, Washington the Magazine shares some favorite recipes from the Washington Daily News' collection of Pamlico Pantry cookbooks. While these dishes may not earn their host and hostess a prize, their guests should at least offer a standing ovation in gratitude.
52 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Peppercorn Crusted Lamb Chops Tucker Talley Beaufort County Arts Council 8 (4 ounce) lamb chops; 2 tablespoons coarse grain mustard; 1 tablespoon cracker pepper; 1 green onion, finely chopped; 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce; 1 clove garlic; vegetable cooking spray. Trim excess fat from chops. Combine next five ingredients. Spread evenly on one side of each chop. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Place on grill over medium-hot coals (350 to 400 degrees). Place chops on rack, coated side up. Grill uncovered five minutes on each side until desired doneness. Yield: six servings.
Roasted Vegetable Pilaf
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 53
Harvest Salad Athy Tayloe Watson
Apple Cabbage Slaw Eleanor Taylor
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church
Bath Christian Church
2 pears; 1/3 cup sliced dried apricots or other dried fruit; 1 small purple onion, thinly sliced; 2 cups fresh spinach leaves; 2 cups lettuce; 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted; 1 (4 ounce) package crumbled blue cheese, Gorgonzola or feta cheese; balsamic vinaigrette.
1 medium, unpeeled apple, diced; 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice; 1 cup shredded cabbage; 1 stalk celery, chopped; 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped; 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing; salt and pepper.
Toss together pears, apricots and onion. Arrange spinach and lettuce on individual plates. Top with pear mixture and sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Yield: six servings.
In a bowl, toss apple with lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Oysters in Blue Cheese Julie Hoell
Roasted Vegetable Pilaf Sandy Johnson Washington Pediatrics 2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves; 2 large plum tomatoes, quartered; 1 zucchini, cut in half and sliced lengthwise; 1 small red onion, sliced; any other vegetables (mushrooms, squash, eggplant, etc.); couscous or rice. In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, garlic and thyme. Set aside. While rice cooks, place cut vegetables in medium baking dish and drizzle vegetables with oil mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for eight to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir vegetables into rice.
Beaufort County Arts Council 12 raw oysters, with shells; 1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled; 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled; Tabasco sauce; 1/2 cup crushed buttery, round crackers; 1/3 cup butter, melted. Place one raw oyster in each shell. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs and drizzle with butter. Divide bleu cheese and bacon among oysters and top. Place one to two drops Tabasco on top of each. Run under broiler until bubbly.
Apricot Nector Cake Evelyn Tucker Grace Lutheran Church 1 box yellow cake mix; 4 eggs; 3/4 cup cooking oil; 1/2 cup sugar; 1 cup apricot nectar; 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 cup confectioners sugar; 1/2 cup apricot nectar. Mix cake mix, sugar, eggs, one cup apricot nectar and cooking oil until well blended. Pour into tube pan and bake at 360 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Combine lemon juice, half cup apricot nectar and confectioners sugar and stir until thoroughly blended. Pour topping over hot cake. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
54 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Apricot Nector Cake
APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 55
OUT AND ABOUT
Throughout the month River Roving Tours • N.C. Estuarium • Learn about the history and habitats of the Washington waterfront. These boat tours cruise the Pamlico River Wednesdays through Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. No admission fee or other cost is involved for the tour, but advance reservations are required. Riders should check in 15 minutes in advance. Children must be at least six years old to ride; a responsible adult must accompany children under 16. Call 252-948-0000 for reservations.
April 26 Historic Homes Tour
• Downtown Washington • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thirteen homes and gardens in beautiful historic Washington. Tickets available at the Washington Visitor Center at 102 Stewart Parkway.
April 27 BCCC concert
The BoCo Music Festival, one of Washington’s newer festivals, is proving to be one of the more popular festivals in the area. Music from many genres will be performed throughout the day.
Every Saturday Saturday Market • Downtown Washington • 8 a.m. to noon. The market begins April 19 and runs through October. The market features local growers of fresh fruit, vegetables, plants and flowers. You will also want to try some delicious, freshbaked goods. You never know what you might find; the products are always changing. Call 252946-3969 for more information.
April 18 and May 16 Music in the Streets • Downtown Washington • 6 p.m. Enjoy a wonderful evening with your friends and neighbors in historic downtown Washington. No matter what your musical taste, you will find entertainers to delight you in this musical event. Downtown Washington comes to life, shops stay open late and the restaurants are glad to see you. Call 252946-3969 for information.
April 25 and May 30 ArtWalk • Downtown Washington • 5-8 p.m. This free-to-the-public showcase of local visual art takes place on Main, Water and Gladden streets. The happening features art in galleries open to browsers, collectors or the plain curious, with refreshments and live entertainment thrown in for good measure. Call 252-946-3969 for more information.
April 17 Belhaven Chamber Banquet • Belhaven • Annual Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Guest speaker, Sharon Decker, secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce. Call 252-9433770 for more information.
April 21 Easter egg hunt • Havens Gardens • City of Washington Easter egg hunt, 2 p.m.
56 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
• Turnage Theater • Beaufort County Community Orchestra spring concert, 3 p.m. Presented by the Beaufort County Arts Council. For information, call 252-946-2504.
May 2 Spring Song concert
April 25 Tar River Swing Band
• Turnage Theater • 7:30 p.m. The Beaufort County Choral Society in concert.
• Turnage Theater • 8 p.m. Call 252-946-2504 for more information.
May 2-3 Relay for Life
April 26 BoCo Music Festival • Downtown Washington • Annual music festival in downtown Washington. Stay tuned for details about this everexpanding event. Presented in association with the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association. Call 252-946-2504 for information.
April 26 Washington Marine Market • Downtown Washington • If it is nautical, you’ll find it here. Buy, sell and trade in this waterfront marine extravaganza. Call 252-946-3969.
• Washington High School • Beaufort County Relay for Life, 6 p.m. The journey to end cancer starts with a single step. The American Cancer Society invites you to take that step by joining the global Relay for Life movement. When you walk to end cancer at a Relay event, it's your opportunity to not only honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones lost, but also to raise awareness about what we can do to stay well from cancer and raise money to help fuel the world's largest walk to end cancer. Call 252-481-2694 for more information.
May 3 Kayakalon • Goose Creek State Park • Race for the River Kayakalon, 9 a.m. This annual triathlon with a twist benefits the Pamlico Tar River Foundation. Call 252-946-7211 or email@example.com.
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In-State $24/year Out of State $34/year International $54/year APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE • 57
OUT AND ABOUT
May 8 Senior Dance • Washington Civic Center • 7 p.m. Singles and Couples over 50 are welcome to come and dance the night away. Admission is $7.00. 50/50 drawing. Door prizes. No Alcohol/No Smoking/No Children.
May 16-18 Pirates on the Pungo Regatta • Belhaven • This annual fundraiser for the Pungo District Hospital Foundation includes a regatta and Buccaneer Bash. Visit www.piratesonpungo. org or call 919-880-1183 for more information.
May 17 BathFest • Historic Bath • 11 a.m. – 4 a.m. This year’s town-sponsored arts festival will have a genealogical theme and will feature arts and crafts vendors, music and theatrical performances, food booths, hands-on arts and craft activities for children. Free, scheduled tours
of the Palmer-Marsh and Bonner Houses will be offered during the day. Free of charge. For more information, call 252-923-3971.
May 17 Cutthroat Croquet Tournament • Historic Bath • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Join the Beaufort County Community College Foundation as a participant or spectator as it sponsors the ninth annual Cut-throat Croquet Tournament. Charge for players, free for spectators. For more information, call 252-923-3971.
May 23-25 Aurora Fossil Festival • Aurora • Food, music, educational events, lecturers, dancing, entertainment and the Aurora Fossil Museum auction on the 24th of May. Wonderful parade and breakfast honoring Veterans that served the country. Lawnmower pulls, car shows and lots of other surprises for the entire family. Call the Chamber Office at 252-322-4405 or the Aurora Fossil Museum at 252-3224238.
58 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Fresh produce, freshly-baked breads and pastries and locally produced jams and jellies are just some of the goodies available at Saturday Market, held each Saturday from mid-April through October on the waterfront in downtown Washington.
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APRIL/MAY 2014 | WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE â€˘ 59
Wildlife, naturally 60 • WASHINGTON THE MAGAZINE | APRIL/MAY 2014
Opposite page: Their avocation and vocation take the Scotts to some of the most beautiful places in the world, many of those places within three hours of their home in Washington. Photo courtesy of STRS Productions. Above: Blake and Emily Scott have been making wildlife videos since 1992. They film in the wild, but they finish their work in their studio in Washington. Photo by Will Preslar.
STORY by MIKE VOSS
Couple earns awards by letting wildlife tell its story
hen it comes to award-winning documentaries and videos, Washington-based STRS Productions continues to add items to its trophy case. Probably best known for its “Refuge” series, STRS Productions
uses wildlife refuges in eastern North Carolina as its “canvas,” if you will. Blake and Emily Scott are the creative heart and soul behind STRS Productions. The stars of their work are the refuges and the wildlife they capture with cameras and sound recordings. With as few people
as possible, the Scotts and their crews spend not days or weeks in the field on many of their shoots — they spend months. It’s not unusual for the Scotts to take an entire year to videotape a refuge. Doing so allows them to capture the four seasons that visit a refuge. The Scotts make it clear that
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Top photo: Emily Scott weathers a snow storm during a shoot in February. Left: Blake Scott shoots wildlife footage from the bed of a pickup truck. Photos courtesy of STRS Productions
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although they enjoy the recognition — and accessibility to wildlife — the awards bring them, they are not in their line of work for awards. They want their work to instill an appreciation for, and respect of, wildlife in its natural habitat and what it means to protect that habitat so future generations can enjoy snow geese, black bears, wolf pups and snakes in the wild. Getting that message out sometimes means visiting a refuge during one of the worst winter storms of the year — just to get the desired footage. Sometimes it means close, really close, encounters with big bears and deadly snakes. The wildlife documentaries and videos started in 1992. The Scotts were already in business with Star Trak Recording Studios, the audio component of their enterprises today. “When we started, we weren’t really thinking about awards. We were actually starting to do what we were doing because we loved what was happening,” Blake Scott said. “We use to take our girls — we have three girls — we would take them down to Mattamuskeet to see the waterfowl during the wintertime. We’d just take a little handi-cam with us to be filming family video. They started getting a little older … The last time we took them down there, I asked Emily, when we got home, to out on the Internet and buy me anything on video about Mattamuskeet. I wanted to own it. The next day, she came back to me and said, ‘There’s nothing on Mattamuskeet out there that I can buy you. There’s nothing there.’ So, it just dawned in my head — why
Raw footage from a shoot during a February snowstorm is displayed on two monitors in the STRS Productions studio. Photo by Will Preslar
don’t we go down and shoot a wildlife documentary on Mattamuskeet.” Until then, the Scotts had been shooting concerts, weddings and similar events. During post-production work on the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge video, the Scotts decided other national wildlife refuges would be excellent subjects for documentaries and videos. The next subject was the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. “In the meantime, the Mattamuskeet Foundation … hired us to do a non-dialogue wildlife film called ‘A Winter Day.’ … What that is, is just all-natural sound with a little font that comes up with these beautiful scenes of a wintery day
down in one of those refuges,” Blake Scott said. The Scotts decided to get footage of wildlife from five of the 10 and a half refuges in North Carolina. The half refuge is part of a whole refuge that straddles the North CarolinaVirginia line. As they produced more wildlife documentaries and videos, UNC TV, PBS and others began taking notice of their work. The Scotts learned from Dr. Lewis Forrest with the Mattamuskeet Foundation they had won an award for their video of the Mattamuskeet refuge — “A Winter Day — Lake Mattamuskeet.” “He was the one who actually started the process. He thought they were so excellent that we deserved an
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award for doing them,” Emily Scott said. “A Winter Day” won an international DV Award for the Scotts. “We weren’t really thinking awards. We weren’t really going for awards. We were just doing our thing. That’s all we were doing,” Blake Scott said. Since then, the Scotts have won Telly Awards, The Videographer Awards, the Accolade Film Awards and a 2007 Aegis Award, among others. The Scotts believe their award-winning videos and documentaries attract attention — and awards — because they try to limit the human influence when they are filming to as little as possible. Crewmembers and equipment are kept at a minimum. The Scotts don’t want to invade wildlife habitat. They want their shoots to be as nonintrusive as possible. “A lot of our recognition comes from the way we film. Unlike National Geographic, Discovery Channel, the BBC and all of the big names, we do not hide in blinds. We do not bait these animals. We sit for hours and hours and hours waiting for nature to do what nature does,” said Emily Scott, often called Mother Nature by crewmembers who work with the Scotts. “We do not stage shots, which is what 90 percent of all wildlife documentaries you see are,” Blake Scott said. “As a matter of fact, we write the script after the fact, which is the way Walt Disney did his films, which were so big and successful.” “Walt Disney actually said, ‘Wildlife tells its own story.’ You film the wildlife and let them tell their own story,” Emily Scott said. “That’s the way we wanted to do it.” The Scotts are known for getting footage of two male black bears fighting for 11 minutes. “Black bear biologists had never heard of that,” Blake Scott said. “When we told the biologists that we had raw footage of 11 minutes fighting, they were like, ‘That’s impossible. They don’t do that.’ We were like, ‘Well, come on over and we’ll show you what we’ve got. They came over. We showed them what we had. They were just astounded.” Look for the Scotts and STRS Productions to continue astounding people when it comes to wildlife documentaries and videos.
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Why I love Washington
‘Time, talents and treasures’
Written by MICHELE OROS
grew up in southern Connecticut, four miles from Long Island Sound. From the windows of my grade school at the top of Tunxis Hill, I could look across the Sound and see the smokestacks of Port Jefferson, New York. The town beach was the place where kids spent summer afternoons with their mothers, digging in the coarse New England sand and splashing in the calm, green waters of Long Island Sound. The beach was where teens hung out with friends, exploring possibility at the water’s edge. I fell hard in love with the North Carolina mountains in the summer of 1975 and awoke to a Blue Ridge sunrise a year later. Waterfalls and rocky swimming holes replaced the sandy beaches of my childhood and I learned to call myself a mountain girl. Chasing new dreams, I turned my back on the Blue Ridge in 1987 and put down roots in eastern North Carolina. I rediscovered beaches as a mother, building castles in the soft sand of Bogue Banks, jumping waves and hunting ghost crabs with my three children. After 10 landlocked years, the 90-minute drive to the beach was a small but tolerable inconvenience. Our move to Washington Park in spring 1999 brought us within minutes of the Pamlico River. My kids fell in with the neighborhood pack and quickly adapted to waterfront living, exploiting all opportunities for adventure. I felt reunited with my childhood: discovering nature on my own terms; bicycling to the library; stopping for ice cream along the way. I like to think that life on the River has given my children what Rachel Carson described as “a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout a life.” This full-circle journey has brought me back to the place I started, where land meets water and everything is possible. I like to tell friends that the Atlantic Ocean begins at the Highway 17 Bridge in Washington, a mile from my home; that I can launch a boat from the end of my street and sail around the world. This is a place of opportunity, of “why not” and “what if.” I am equally aware of the risk we take by living at the
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water’s edge and the persistent possibility of loss. I am continually amazed by the generosity of my neighbors and their willingness to commit “time, talents and treasures” in times of need. Nearly everyone I have met in the past 15 years is actively involved in efforts to improve our quality of life. While the River drew me to Washington, the community is why I have remained. I love Washington and I am grateful to call it home.
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