Outer Banks Articles & Shorts - Issue 22: Summer 2020

Publisher's Letter

If adversity makes us stronger, as the saying goes, then, damn y’all, we must be Olympic strong.  It’s been a long, strange trip with the crazy COVID, and it’s not over yet. Thousands of visitors are back, and if we could look at the Outer Banks from a bird’s view, one might think that it was life as normal down here on these islands. But, of course, from a sea level view, things are far from normal. At the time of this note, restaurants and shops are still at 50% capacity. Most National Park Service visitor centers are closed, as are the lighthouses for climbing. Accommodations are open, yet many are unable to be at full capacity. Our international students, who historically have filled close to 3,500 jobs in the summer, were not allowed to come this year, meaning that most businesses are understaffed.

Why write this? Because, now, during this time in our world where so much has changed, I think it feels better to tell the story as it actually is. We need to admit to each other that we’ve been scared (maybe still are), that many have had to restructure their businesses, that we look for but can’t necessarily find an end to this time in our lives. And we need to support each other in this admitting, restructuring and looking.

But there’s another story that gets to be told here too, and it’s just as true and important. The past three months, I’ve witnessed acts of kindness that made me cry. We’ve all been given the opportunity to have our consciousness opened up about how so many people live on the edge and the fact that that needs to change. We’ve donated and volunteered – or we’ve been the grateful recipients of that work and kindness.

Every single business represented in this magazine has had to adapt in big ways to our ever-changing world. Every single owner of every single business has had to increase their faith and trust muscles. Every single business is working harder than they were this time last year to take care of our visitors and of us locals.

I’m proud of all of us. We’re Outer Banks Strong. And we ALL win the gold medal.



Culture Carried through Kitchens: Outer Banks Cooking Traditions

By Hannah Lee Leidy
Hatteras clam chowder, fig cake, oyster dressing, terrapin stew, old drum, pone bread – it’s not gibberish, I swear, but staples of the briny, buttery culture sprinkled over the Outer Banks. These traditional foods were once the sustenance that fueled the folks who settled in the islands’ earliest fishing villages.... Read More

An Insider’s Look at the Outer Banks Dolphins

By Hannah Lee Leidy
People flock to Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours for the opportunity to see dolphins playing, mating and even birthing in Roanoke Sound. And over the course of the two-hour tour, guests find the cruise not only fulfills their dolphin desires, but it also deepens their appreciation for the surrounding marshland, maritime... Read More

The Place Everyone’s Walking About

By Hannah Lee Leidy
Few places let you explore, on foot, the length of a town’s activities, shops and dining scene, not to mention entirely at waterside! The ability to do so in Duck lends to much of its unparalleled enchantment. Ditch the car and set out by foot or bike. Mosey between the galleries, boutiques and shops while strolling... Read More

So Cute in Corolla

By Molly Harrison
Long before Joanna Gaines made upcycling a household word, Karen Scarborough Whitfield pulled off a must-see repurposing project in Historic Corolla Village. In 2004 she transformed her father’s former garage into a retail shop called Spry Creek Home Accents, and in the past 16 years it’s become a favorite northern... Read More

Reflecting Life’s Changes Through Jewelry

By Hannah Lee Leidy
Tides change, sand shifts and the wind switches. Our lives follow a similar fashion, always evolving and developing as we make transitions and grow. Family heirlooms, precious mementos and simple everyday jewelry can do the same through the artistic eyes and skilled hands of Gail Kowalski. Since 1977, Outer Banks... Read More