Keep it Local

My wonderful friend Taylor McCune has started a news media outlet, The Eastern Beacon, here in Carteret County. It focuses on Beaufort and areas east, a traditionally under-covered section of the county when it comes to news and other issues.

To keep my writer juices (I’m not sure I like how that sounds but I’m no creative writer) flowing, she asked me to help out with an article discussing the Olde Beaufort Farmer’s Market which is held on Saturday’s through November on the courthouse square.

Since I’ve moved back to the area, I’ve regained an appreciation for all things local and both the Eastern Beacon and the Olde Beaufort Farmer’s market are no exception.

I’m not going to steal from the Friendly Market’s (another wonderful local business with delicious food) slogan BUT I’m going to add to it: Eat. Shop. Live. READ. Local.

Just as local shops, businesses and restaurants need our support, so does local media.

Read the full article on the Olde Beaufort Farmer’s Market here.

Stepping into the Past

Yesterday Michael and I took his daughter to Tryon Palace which was the governor’s mansion of colonial North Carolina when New Bern was the capitol.

George III was, like, everywhere. Paintings, seals, insignias. His portrait hung throughout the home – and countless other homes that were an ocean away that he’d never see – really provides some insight into this dude. Maybe they only hung it up when someone official was coming by because, let me tell you, he wasn’t much too look at (unless you’re into that powdered-wig-silky-pantaloons look).

The visit was interesting for a number of reasons – mainly because history is cool (duh), but also because Mike and I both remembered going on field trips there as kids and hadn’t been since. We both specifically remembered making candles and were pretty bummed no one offered to let us do that.

I’ve been to Biltmore in Asheville much more recently so for me it was reminiscent of that but being at Tryon did bring back some memories, at least I convinced myself I remembered some of it. Unfortunately we got there a bit too late to gaze in wonder upon “the actual bed where George Washington slept!”, but they’ve done a great job recreating the time period and displaying everything.

I even learned something new! Though I’m pretty sure people actually did used to be shorter, the tour guide said the beds in historical homes like that always look short because they were custom-sized. The width of them is odd and unexpected to our modern eyes, thus making them look short because they tend to be more square versus rectangular.

It is always hard for me to resist the urge to touch things – especially the books – I guess that is an urge that never really goes away as you get older. “What would happen if I just reached over and touched those giant books of colonial laws that are screaming out to me with both their visual appeal and that old musty smell that nerds of my breed simply can’t resist?” Someone should bottle that old book/old home/old-artifacts-are-everywhere scent, like 3% of people would go nuts.

When possible, I never pass up the chance for a good historical tour – it’s a shame I’ve already seen most of the local stuff. Give it a chance sometime if you haven’t, it made for a fun day.

In the spirit of playing tourist, I took some photos – enjoy!

Good for the Soul

Lately I have taken to going for long walks on a nature trail in Atlantic Beach. Besides the great exercise (its roughly 3.5 miles round trip and quite hilly in places), I’ve found it’s an excellent place to clear my mind or to let my thoughts wander wherever they need to go.

I don’t know if it’s the isolation created by my headphones, the distraction of having to focus on my body movements or just the enjoyment of a new (to me) little spot hidden right in my hometown, but it’s become my therapy a few times every week.

Yesterday instead of doing the full loop of the trail, I did half of it and then decided to walk on the beach back towards where I parked. This early in the year the beach isn’t crowded and it was one of those weather days that may as well have been a painting.

I wasn’t going to stop for a picture, thinking I have hundreds just like this, but then thought “Why should that matter? I enjoy looking back at these”. I hope you enjoy them too. Take the walk, take the picture, even if you’ve taken both 100 times before.

Coming Soon…

I have completed two additional articles for Carolina Shore which will be featured in the spring/summer 2019 issue. This should be published in early May.

One of the articles explores the Green Book. While it mentions the 2018 film briefly, it is more focused on the Green Book itself, how it was used, and sites in eastern NC. Doing the research for this article was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in quite some time and I am hoping to write a larger piece on a related topic using some of the information I gathered throughout my research that wasn’t directly related to my assignment.

The second article is a vignette piece which allowed me to interview five local businesses heavily affected by Hurricane Florence. Our area was hit hard by the storm in September 2018 and many people are still displaced from their homes and many businesses still unable to reopen. It was important for me to be able to talk to different people not only because the hurricane hit me on such a personal level but to be able to tell the story of the storm from different perspectives.

Both articles will be published on this site as soon as the magazine is printed.

The Night Sky

Featured

For this piece, I had the pleasure of meeting with a local astronomy club called the Crystal Coast Stargazers. I found them to be truly enthusiastic about all things astronomy and a very knowledgeable group of people.

They have a formal meeting once a month but go out on viewing excursions whenever the weather allows, setting up their telescopes and cameras to enjoy the sky themselves or allow others to see nature’s wonders up close for the first time. Some of the members have special cameras and lenses they attach to their telescopes allowing them to capture breathtaking photos as seen in the article.

The club is a member of the Nigh Sky Network which allows them access to NASA materials for their own use as well as training other amateurs new to the hobby. They were truly a wonderful group to meet and from just one meeting, it was easy to see they were more like a small family than a club.

Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2CwTLys.

Finding Atlantis

Featured

This article explores the oldest hotel in Pine Knoll Shores, one of the small towns located on Bogue Banks.

Bogue Banks is the small barrier island located along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina which is also home to Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle and Indian Beach.

Having been born and raised in Atlantic Beach myself (and being a 3rd generation Carteret County native), it was exciting to learn not only about the hotel but the history of Pine Knoll Shores from members of the Hall family who founded the hotel.

This article reawakened in me my love for history and historical research that had been somewhat dormant for years. I find it to be a special thing when the project you’re working on gives something back to you – this was one that certainly did that for me.

Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2AmBClN.