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Outer Banks Guide > Outer Banks Blogs > Eve Turek's Natural Outer Banks Blog
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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Wednesday January 31, 2007

      The last day of January is appropriately cold and windy as befits a winter day on the Outer Banks.  On the calendar we are now just about half way through the winter and if it doesn't get any worse than this we should be thankful. The sunrise this morning was a little strange but Uncle Jack made a short video anyway.  If you have a minute to spare you can check it out by clicking on the YouTube link below.

      Mrs. U.J. pulled babysitting duty yesterday for her adorable granddaughters, Isabella and Sophia.  A trip to the aquarium was in order and for a while yesterday morning they had that entire wonderful place all to themselves.  Winter is the best time to visit the aquarium, for sure. Pictures below.

    With the Super Bowl coming up this week-end Uncle Jack thought it might be helpful, as a public service to football widows, to exhume this piece from the archives once again.

                                         Football Blues

Dear Uncle Jack,

I have been happily married for almost six months to a really swell guy but now that it's football season I'm beginning to wonder if I made a mistake. All my husband does on Saturday and Sunday anymore is sit on the couch and drink beer and watch football on TV with his rowdy friends.

We used to do a lot of fun things on weekends like we would go over to Bodie Island and sit in one of the Park Service duck blinds and make believe we were in a jacuzzi in the Bahamas or we would go over to the mall and watch the seagulls drop their clams in the parking lot.

Now he won't even go out of the house on weekends and when I say something about it he tells me to bug off. To tell you the truth, Uncle Jack, I'm almost desperate enough to pack my things and go home to Mom and I would do it, too, except that she watches football all the time herself and all she ever talks about is how she would like to sack some guy named Ressleberger, whoever he is.

What can I do, Uncle Jack? You are my only hope.

Football Widow

Nags Head

Dear Widow,

Uncle Jack is very glad you wrote to him because he knows what you are going through and he is pretty sure he can help you. But you have to put on your thinking cap and really try to understand what he is going to tell you which you probably won't like. First of all you have to realize that it is not your husband's fault that all he wants to do on weekends is watch football on TV. Ever since he was a tiny boy baby the various forces of society have been training him and shaping and preparing him for the day when he would be a man and it would be time for him to take his rightful place in front of the tube.

Now that he is a man he has no choice. When he hears the voices of Terry or Big John or Dandy Don he must watch football, just like when you hear the voice that tells you it is time to clean the oven you cannot rest until the oven is clean. You must understand that men are supposed to watch football on TV and you should be glad that your husband is a real man and not some kind of wimp who spends his weekends riding around on a golf cart.

If you can truly believe what Uncle Jack has told you so far you are well on the way toward getting through the football season and saving your marriage. All you have to do is find some constructive ways to spend your time and not bother your husband for the next few weekends. If you can clean the oven quietly that would be a good thing to do, but stay away from the refrigerator because you could be trampled. There is something about watching football on TV that makes men very thirsty, especially for Lite Beer from Miller.

Some people will tell you to be a good sport and try to learn about football so you can sit in the living room and enjoy it with your husband and his friends. You must believe Uncle Jack when he tells you this is very bad advice. Your husband does not want you to watch football on TV with him because there are many things he would have to explain to you and it would take all the fun out of watching.

For example, he would have to explain to you why the best play in football is the one where three or four enormous men jump on the little quarterback and try to separate his head from his body. When this play is successful, as it often is, the quarterback has to be carried off the field on a stretcher and taken directly to the emergency room. Also Uncle Jack is pretty sure your husband would not want you to see him drooling over the practically naked cheerleaders when they are bouncing around the sidelines the way they do.

The best thing for you to do is to get out of the house completely on weekends. Fall is the very best time to transplant sandspurs, for example, or you might want to get together with some of the other football widows and drive up by Moyock and watch the leaves fall off the trees.

Anyway Uncle Jack hopes he has helped you see some ways to get through football season and save your marriage, too. All it will take is a little understanding on your part.


Uncle Jack

P.S.  Uncle Jack's daughter, Emily, has posted a delightful account of a visit to Nags Head 100 years ago on the message board.  Check it out if you're a history buff.


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7 a.m. A thick cloud bank obscures the sunrise.

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7:10 It's back there somewhere.

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7:20 Better late than never.

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Be they godwits or willetts Uncle Jack's heart went out to these poor little critters this frigid morning. They should be in Aruba or somewhere by now.

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This fish sculpture at the entrance to the aquarium on Roanoke Island never ceases to impress.

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The river otter was amusing itself (and visitors) with an empty water jug.

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The shark tank is an endless source of wonderment for young and old. (Well, not exactly old).

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Rule of thumb: Always have at least 5 inches of plexiglass between you and a shark.

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This diver looked scarier than the shark.

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That is one big tank. The docent said it contains about 280 fish at the moment, including the four sharks. If you haven't visited the aquarium yet you have a treat in store.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFiwTDsuIiE

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:36 AM

Comments [5]

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Tuesday January 30, 2007

          The penultimate day of January has dawned cold and cloudy on the Outer Banks.  It looks and feels exactly like winter.  A good bit of yesterday's snow and ice is still hanging around because it didn't get warm enough yesterday to melt it away. Today's video is very similar to yesterday's but if you need a fix click on the YouTube link below. It wasn't so windy so at least you can hear the sound of the surf a little better.

          Uncle Jack read in the paper the other day that there is a major exodus of people from the Outer Banks because of the downturn in the construction industry.  He knows this must be discouraging for all the would-be Outer Bankers who have been counting the days until they can get a job and move down here to stay.  He found this letter in the archives that might offer a sliver of hope and encouragement to them in these troubled times:

                                  Shredded Hopes

Dear Uncle Jack,

I spent two weeks on the Outer Banks last summer and now I spend most of my time trying to figure out how I could make a living down there. I have a terrific job running a shredding machine for the C.I.A. and I'm really good at it so I was wondering if you knew anybody down there who is looking for an experienced shredder. I could be there tomorrow if they need me and if the hours were right I would even consider working for less than the $75,000 I'm making now. I won't sleep until I hear from you, Uncle Jack, so please hurry.


McLean, Virginia

Dear Anxious,

Uncle Jack is certainly glad to hear that you would be willing to take a modest pay cut because that will help you a lot when you go looking for a job down here. He is not sure what they are paying paper shredders over at the county office building but he doubts if it's anywhere near $75,000. They have surprised him before, though, so you might want to check it out when you get down here.

The big problem you face, though, is that there just aren't that many openings for paper shredders down here due to the general lack of large scale covert activity. There is probably a little hanky panky from time to time in some of the lawyers’ offices but most of it usually gets torn up by hand and flushed down the toilet.

What it boils down to if you ask Uncle Jack, and you did, is that you might have to go into some other line of work, or at least you might have to adapt your highly developed shredding skills to something other than paper.

Have you thought about cabbage? There is hardly a restaurant on the Outer Banks that doesn't have to make a ton of coleslaw every day and that means shredding a lot of cabbage. You might think about picking up a government surplus high performance shredder and setting yourself up in the wholesale coleslaw business.

If you want to know the truth that is about the only business he can think of that there is not at least two of already on the Outer Banks. For example if you are thinking about opening a discount department store forget it. There is already a Wal-Mart and a K-Mart down here and that's at least one too many if you ask Uncle Jack.

He knows how you feel about wanting to move to the Outer Banks, though, because he had the same problem once, a long time ago. All he can say is that if you want to live here badly enough you will find a way.


Uncle Jack

P.S. Have you thought about selling drugs?  That seems to be the only growth industry around here right now.


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7 a.m.

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Apparently the "Little Bobcat that Could" spent yesterday digging up old sandbags at Surfside Drive. It's looking better every day.

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A sign of the times. When the Dunes restaurant closes you know it's winter. Located across from the Tanger Mall in Nags Head it is one of the Outer Banks' most popular eateries.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqx_e0FpcLw

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:15 AM

Comments [8]

Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunrise and snow, Monday January 29, 2007

     Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. fell asleep to the sound of rain splattering on the skylight last night and awoke to a winter wonderland outside their window.  Well, sort of.  The rain turned to snow at some point and there were perceptible quantities visible here and there as they went forth to film the sunrise.

    It may seem strange to some people that otherwise sentient creatures like U.J. and Mrs. U.J. would rise in the dark at 6:30 and go forth into sub-freezing temperatures whipped by a nasty wind from the north just to watch a sunrise.  If this way madness lies they will cheerfully follow that path because the beauty they observed this morning (from the comfort of the MINI which even has seat warmers) was far beyond anything they have seen in any art gallery in Rome, Paris, Florence, London or even Manteo.

    Uncle Jack made a very short video this morning due to the inclement conditions prevailing  on the beach at Loon Court (where for some reason the end-of-street berm that blocks every other east-west avenue in South Nags Head is still missing).  The temperature was 29 F at 7 a.m. and the wind made it feel more like zero.  If you enjoy watching spray being blown off the tops of waves and sand whipping down the beach propelled by  30 mph gusts of wind, this is your kind of movie.  Click on the YouTube link below to see it.

    Have an excellent day wherever you are and Uncle Jack (retired) will do the same. 


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7 a.m. Doesn't look too promising.

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7:10 Getting better by the minute.

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7:15 The first of three sunrises this morning as the sun ducked in and out of clouds.

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Wind out of the northwest blew off the tops of waves in spectacular fashion.

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Pretty, no?

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These ice-covered steps provided an early morning challenge.

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A wider shot.

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Is it Loon Court or Aspen?

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Uncle Jack is ready to hit the slopes.

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There was a fishing boat out there this morning. God help them.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpOzJxmFeng

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:41 AM

Comments [4]

Sunday, January 28, 2007
Unrise in Sonag, Sunday January 28, 2007

    It's a rainy Sunday morning on the Outer Banks. No pictures this morning unless there is a dramatic change in the weather which does not look at all likely.

     Yesterday was another story. Brilliant sunshine, balmy breezes from the south, and a hard, flat beach to walk on.  Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. strolled from Surfside Drive to McCall Court and back in a little over an hour and enjoyed every minute of it. If this be winter let us have more of it.

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The boats that went north yesterday morning were returning to Oregon Inlet at 4 p.m. We drove down to the fishing center to check them out but didn't see any fish. Just a lot of large men drinking beer.

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This Jimmy Durante of the bird world must have spotted something.

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Here he is going deep a second or two later.

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Hundreds of gulls were out sunning themselves.

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It was Saturday but a seven-man crew was hard at work sandbagging this house that sits on the beach near McCall Court.

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The "little bobcat that could" has done a nice job of removing broken asphalt and concrete from the beach at Surfside Drive during the past few days.

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A few odds and ends remain to be removed---detritus from the houses that once stood here.

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Remember this sailboat that anchored off Whitecap Street about ten days ago? Uncle Jack read in the paper that it ran aground near Oregon Inlet later the same day.

posted by Uncle Jack at 7:20 AM

Comments [10]

Saturday, January 27, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Saturday January 27, 2007

     It's going to be a lovely day on the Outer Banks. Not a cloud in the sky, little or no wind, and temperatures climbing into the 50's (which will seem balmy compared to the past few days).  Uncle Jack will happily eschew his daily trip to the Y for a long walk on the beach later. 

    Today's short video of the sun rising into a cloudless sky was taken from the beach in front of Loon Court near the 21 milepost in South Nags Head.  It's rather pretty if Uncle Jack says so himself.  Click on the YouTube link below if you would like to transport yourself for a few minutes to a peaceful place at a lovely time of the day.

     Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are really starting to enjoy the ambience of winter on the Outer Banks. South Nags Head is almost totally deserted, indicating just how many of the houses in this neighborhood are rental properties, not homes. Traffic on the Bypass has thinned out to the point where it is no longer ridiculous to think about making a left turn onto it from a side street that doesn't have a stoplight. The grocery emporia are vastly underpopulated which makes shopping a delight.  No snow.  No ice.  Not bad at all.

     Try to have a nice day wherever you are.

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6:50 a.m. In the still of the morning. Imagine yourself sitting in a warm car parked at the edge of the beach with a hot cup of coffee at hand. The sun is due to appear in ten minutes. Who would want to be anywhere else?

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And there it is, right on time. Always an awesome sight.

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Looking north from Loon Court toward Sea Gull Drive. The beach is flat and hard and perfect for walking.

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Two of the six sportfishing boats that roared by heading north at sunrise. There must be some worthwhile fish out there somewhere or they wouldn't be burning all that fuel.

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Two more.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkKX18JqjdE

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:49 AM

Comments [2]

Friday, January 26, 2007
Sunrise (at last) in Sonag, Friday January 27, 2007

          Uncle Jack is happy to report that the sun came up this morning right on schedule for the first time in several days.  He apologizes for not posting a weblog yesterday but without a sunrise he couldn't think of any reason to bother.

     It's much colder this morning----30 F. at 6:30 a.m.-----and there's a nasty, biting wind out of the north.  This will be a good day for him to work on his free-throw shooting.  He read somewhere that everybody should have a goal in life and right now his is to make ten free throws in a row without a miss.  He came close yesterday with eight and he has a feeling this could be the day. 

     He got out of the warm MINI this morning just long enough to make a short video of the sunrise. It's worth a peek if you have the time.  Click on the YouTube link below.


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6:55 a.m.

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7:20 Actually there were three sunrises this morning as the sun climbed over a thick bank of clouds.

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This seems to be a rather slow period for tourism.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgp2SaVRWbE

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:12 AM

Comments [6]

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Morning in Sonag, Wednesday January 24, 2007

     Mother Nature played coquette this morning.  She flashed a little pink in the southwest a half hour before sunrise but by the time Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. reached their observation post it was gone and the sun was nowhere to be seen.  It's out now, though, a couple of hours later and it looks like a decent day will ensue.

     They did make an interesting discovery on the way home from the non-sunrise, to wit:  the town has begun the arduous task of cleaning up the beach in front of Surfside Drive, or more accurately where Surfside Drive used to be.  Over the past half-dozen years a number of heroic efforts have been made to save that ill-fated street from destruction including several sandbag walls, a huge berm made of trucked-in sand, and a new street to replace part of the original that washed out several years ago.

     The late November 2006 storm finished off what was left of Surfside Drive itself and now the beach is a terrible mess with broken asphalt strewn about amongst several generations of sandbags, some tattered, some half-buried and some intact.  Uncle Jack is delighted to see that town officials have decided to clean up this dangerous and unsightly mess before the next summer season begins.  Mother Nature's effort to widen the beach  have been eminently successful and when the clean-up is finished it will be one of South Nags Head's most attractive areas once again.

     Uncle Jack made a short video of a little bobcat front loader that is doing the lion's share of the cleanup.  At this rate they should be finished by Memorial Day, weather permitting.

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A flash of pink at 6:45.

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Looking due east at sunrise. This is as good as it got.

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Part of the mess at Surfside Drive.

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Empty sandbags waiting for a trip to the dump.

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One of the pieces of heavy equipment being employed in the clean-up. Uncle Jack doesn't know at this point who is paying for all this.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn6rEbb79PQ

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:44 AM

Comments [6]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Unrise in Sonag, Tuesday January 23, 2007

     It has often been said that if you don't like the weather on the Outer Banks just stick around for five minutes and it will change.  That is exactly what has happened this morning----and for the better.  At the appointed time of sunrise the sky was completely overcast and there was not a glimmer of light in the southeastern sky.  Two hours later the sun has broken through and an afternoon stroll on beach looks eminently possible. Nice.

      Yesterday's ceaseless drizzle was not conducive to outdoor activities so Uncle Jack got his exercise shooting baskets at the Y while Mrs. U.J. swam.  They stopped at the K-Mart on the way and he bought a new basketball of his very own which should markedly improve his shooting percentage over time. His aim is to get to where he can make 9 free throws out of ten consistently and then have Mrs. U.J. make a video he can put on YouTube.  Then maybe he could get discovered and some NBA team would offer him a job as free-throw coach.  Hope springs eternal when you are an aging basketball junky.

        Here's another oldie from the archives if you have a few minutes to spare at work today. It was inspired by the picture below which is the only one he was able to take yesterday due to the inclement weather.


Back when Uncle Jack was a college professor and had plenty of time on his hands he used to hang around with a lot of people who called themselves "behavioral scientists". These are folks who get paid for watching what people and animals do and then trying to make some sense out of it. They try to discover "laws" that will explain the behavior of people and animals in much the same way that the law of gravity explains why things fall down and not up.

They haven't been doing too well at finding laws. People don't even obey traffic laws much less laws of behavior but the behavioral scientists are not about to give up. They are smart folks who discovered a long time ago that studying behavior is a lot more fun than working for a living.

The federal government throws money at anything called "science" so behavioral scientists can afford to fly around to conferences in places like Acapulco and Budapest where they take a few minutes to tell each other what they don't know and then go out and eat a free dinner in the best restaurant in town. Being a behavioral scientist is not the worst thing that could happen to a person, that's for sure.

Now that he is a busy shopkeeper Uncle Jack does not have a whole lot of time to think about behavioral science but it did pop into his mind the other day, though, while he was supervising the sunset from his command post on the back porch. He saw a seagull crash dive into the sound, scoop up a clam in its beak, carry it directly to a point over his driveway, drop it on the concrete, and then swoop down to pluck the meat out of the busted shell.

Now a long time before Uncle Jack knew everything there was to know, he had to take a behavioral science course in college. In that course he was told that "man" (which in those days included women) was the only creature on earth that knew how to use tools. In fact he had read a book called "Man the Toolmaker" in which the authors went on and on about how smart people are because they use tools and how dumb animals are because they don't. They told about one scientist who insisted that he had seen a chimpanzee use a stick to reach for a mango or something on a high branch but all the other scientists laughed at him and said he must have gotten his nose too far into a jug of fermented papaya juice.

Now it should be obvious to even a really dumb behavioral scientist that what our local gulls are doing is using tools to open their clamshells. Uncle Jack's driveway is no less a tool for the gulls than Uncle Jack's corkscrew is for Uncle Jack. To put it another way our gulls are showing intelligent behavior. They have found a clever way to get a juicy morsel of meat away from a clam who has other plans for it. Among humans this is the essence of intelligent behavior. It is sometimes called "economics".

Uncle Jack has also noticed that, like people, some gulls are smarter than others. Some gulls actually appear to be feebleminded. These are the ones who drop their clams right back in the water where they promptly disappear unopened. High I.Q. gulls are the ones who carry their clams to the nearest empty parking lot where they have plenty of time to chew their food after they get it.

Average gulls, the ones who seem to make up the majority of the gull population around here, drop their clams in the middle of highway l58 where many of them, sad to say, take their last meals under the wheels of speeding trucks.

But even average gulls, while they may not be as smart as the average behavioral scientist, are obviously more intelligent than behavioral scientists have led us to believe. They deserve a lot of credit, too, for going out and hunting up their own dinners instead of living off government grants.

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This mob was milling around in the O.B. Mall parking lot yesterday afternoon. They were extremely agitated about something but Uncle Jack has no clue as to what it might have been. Gulls tend to be inscrutable.

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:42 AM

Comments [2]

Monday, January 22, 2007
Unrise in Sonag, Monday January 22, 2007

    It's a gloomy Monday in South Nags Head with a light drizzle falling and the sky completely overcast.  No sunrise this morning and most likely no sun the rest of the day either.  A good day for Uncle Jack to work on his deadly jump shot at the Y (before his nap).

    A propos of the current excitement over the town of Nags Head's proposal to spend a ton of money renourishing the beaches, Uncle Jack has unearthed from the archives the following piece he wrote many years ago. He still feels the same way about it so here it is again.

                                                   Days of Your’n

Uncle Jack was thinking the other day that he has been around here so long now he could legitimately call himself an old-timer. Not a real old-timer like some of the older natives but maybe some sort of senior level carpetbagger at least. Anyway he has been letting his mind wander back over the 37 years since he crossed the Currituck bridge and drove down the Bypass for the first time.

He cannot remember exactly how many buildings were already beginning to clutter up the Bypass in 1969 but there weren’t very many. The only ones he can remember for sure are the ABC store and the Sportsman’s Diner which was about the only restaurant in town, especially in the winter which in those days lasted from Labor Day to about the middle of June.

There was no stoplight at the main intersection at Colington Road then because when the DOT installed one of those car counters it rusted out before it had counted 100 cars. The first 7-11 was still a gleam in some accountant’s eye over at the Southland Corporation and all the gourmet food lovers used to line up at the Trading Post when the Pepperidge Farm truck came in from Norfolk on Fridays.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken at Whalebone Junction was the only franchise food place and if you were really lucky you would not have to wait in line more than 30 minutes to get your order which gave new meaning to the term “fast food.“

The Nags Head Town Hall was that little white building across from Jockey‘s Ridge where they keep a small fire truck now. It was big enough because the town only had one policeman to handle the drunk drivers (which is what they called them in those days) and one clerk to answer the phone and collect the taxes. She did not have much to do either because the town taxes didn‘t amount to much. Uncle Jack remembers when he could pay his out of petty cash and still have enough left over for a piece of Mrs. Hayman‘s lemon chess pie at the Arlington Hotel.

Those were the days when Duck was still at the end of the earth and South Nags Head was like a voluptuous virgin about to be ravished by a horde of randy developers. He remembers when they built that strange domed Bucky Fuller house way down at the end of South Nags Head and how wide the beach was in front of it and how fast that beach disappeared and left those domes sort of hanging in mid-air. It was not much more than ten years from start to finish as he recalls.

That was when the developers started carving South Nags Head up into little lots running north and south instead of deep lots running east and west from the ocean to the road. This was a very smart thing to do but only if you were in the business of selling lots. It was not so smart, though, if you are one of the people who is now watching his expensive oceanfront lot vanish from under his expensive oceanfront house which he cannot move back because some peasant built his shack on the cheap lot behind him.

Uncle Jack remembers lots of hurricanes from Ginger in 1970 right up to Isabel and what they did to South Nags Head where he has lived for the past 15 years or so. He has to wonder how anybody who has lived around here for a few years can seriously talk about something called “erosion control” much less want to spend countless millions of dollars trying to achieve it.

“Erosion control” sounds like it belongs in the same category with “military intelligence” and “computer literacy”---ideas that self-destruct when you think about them. You can believe that “erosion control” is possible and you can spend endless amounts of money trying to prove it but it always seems to be a few million dollars ahead of you. At least it seems that way to Uncle Jack and he has been around here watching the ocean for a while.

For a lot less money the commissioners could put up some nice signs at the end of each bridge leading to the Outer Banks and on the signs they could put a message something like this: “WARNING! You are entering an unstable barrier island which is known to shift around a lot when the wind blows. BUILD AT YOUR OWN RISK!”

Uncle Jack is smart enough to know that signs like that would not keep some people from building whatever the law allows as close to the ocean as they can put it, but in the long run they could save the taxpayers a pile of money about the size of Jockey’s Ridge.


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When winter was winter---before Al Gore and global warming. (South Nags Head, 12/20/04)

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Seems like yesterday that they built these berms. Whatever happened to them?

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Erosion control underway. April 2005.

posted by Uncle Jack at 7:55 AM

Comments [6]

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Sunday January 21, 2007

     Uncle Jack will let the video of this morning's sunrise speak for itself.  It made getting up at 6:30 a.m. and trudging up to the beach eminently worthwhile.  What a wonderful way to start the day.  Two hours later it looks like Sunday is all downhill from here with the sky completely overcast and dark clouds looming in all directions.

    It won't be a complete loss, though, not with the Mavericks seeking revenge from the Miami Heat for their humiliating defeat in last year's NBA finals on ESPN at 12:30.  (With the Sunday NY Times to read during commercials).  Roast chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, too. 

    This the first time in ten years that Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. have been home in mid-January and they have to say it isn't half bad.  The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show opening last night was delightful, featuring a wide range of artistic creations, many of them truly remarkable. The National Gallery in London has a lot of interesting art in it but it doesn't have everything, that's for sure.  It was good to see a lot of old friends from the arts community again, too. A very pleasant evening in every way.



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6:55 a.m.

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Fifteen minutes later.

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This painting by Rhonda Tillett was the grand prize winner at this year's Frank Stick Memorial art show, the opening reception of which was held at Glenn Eure's Ghost Fleet Gallery last night. A capacity crowd was on hand to scoff the hors d'oeuvres.

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Former site of the Sea Spray motel near the 12 milepost on the beach road. Cleared and ready for another batch of cookie-cutter particle board palaces. Or is Uncle Jack being too pessimistic? Stay tuned.

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The supremely efficient forces of the East Coast Demolition company laid waste to this building across the bypass from the Eckerds drug store in KDH yesterday. A prime corner on the Bypass for sure. Another "Wings" maybe? Stay tuned.

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East Coast Demolition cleared this large lot a couple of months ago (former home of Nags Head Speed Wash, the Beauty Boutique and a real estate office across from Tanger Mall). The nearest "Wings" is at least a half mile away so be prepared.

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It was very cold again this morning and very rough but it didn't keep this sport fisherman from pounding through the swells at top speed in search of something. It was really taking a beating.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8FHYRstdzs

posted by Uncle Jack at 10:13 AM

Comments [7]

Saturday, January 20, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Saturday January 20, 2007

     Uncle Jack will never make it as a weather forecaster.  Yesterday morning he predicted that the sun would remain in hiding all day.  Instead it popped through the clouds at about 10 a.m. and by noon it was a gorgeous day perfect for beachwalking. 

    He hesitates to predict what today holds because it has started out in splendid fashion with a lovely sunrise.  If it warms up a bit it should be good walking weather by noon. He made a short video of the sunrise from the Outer Banks pier which can be seen by clicking the YouTube link below.

     He had a good session in the gym at the Y yesterday morning, popping one-handed jump shots like he was a short Dirk Nowitski.  If he continues to recover his stroke he might just enter the free-throw shooting event at the Senior Games.  Then again he might not. 

     Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are planning to take in the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show tonight for the first time in a long time.  They have been in England or Italy or somewhere every January for the past ten years and had to miss it.  You will find him hovering in the vicinity of the hors d'oeuvres at all times.

    Have a nice weekend wherever you are.

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7 a.m. A considerable improvement over yesterday.

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They pretty much had the beach to themselves yesterday afternoon.

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Except for the occasional bulldozer, of course.

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And the gulls who show up to watch. It must have been a slow day at the Food Lion parking lot.

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There must have been a good reason for this fishing boat to go crashing through the rough waves at high speed this morning.

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With two more in hot pursuit. It was rough and cold out there this morning so the potential reward must have been great.

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This little bunch of sandpipers seemed almost to be huddling together for warmth this morning. We thought they had all departed by now.

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A good start to what should be a very pleasant winter day on the Outer Banks.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSaWl3UrnvE

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:23 AM

Comments [4]

Friday, January 19, 2007
Unrise in Sonag, Friday January 19, 2007

     Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. could have stayed in bed this morning.  The entire sky is socked in with thick, dark clouds and nothing even remotely resembling a sunrise took place at the appointed time.  It's back to the Y again today, for sure.

    Seeing the house shown in the picture below that he took this morning reminded him of what a monumental struggle lies ahead if the Town of Nags Head decides to try to draw a line in the sand and say to the ocean "No farther".  This particular house was once located 90 feet east of its present location and since it was moved back about 20 years ago it has been battered unmercifully.  Dennis removed its protective dune, Isabel tore off the decks and caused the fireplace to collapse to the beach while tearing up the driveway and a sandbag wall.  After extensive repairs to the driveway the recent Thanksgiving northeaster destroyed it again and the house is presently condemned.

      Will widening the beach somewhat with dredged sand significantly improve the long term prospects of this house and the scores of others like it in South Nags Head?  Only time will tell (maybe--if the bond referendum passes) but Uncle Jack has watched Mother Nature at work too many times to be very optimistic about it.

    He got out of the car long enough this morning to make a very short video.  Click on the YouTube link below to see it.


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7 a.m. A downright nasty morning.

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The sun is rising somewhere over beyond those clouds. Not much chance we will be seeing it today.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwaP0mY9x4M

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:11 AM

Comments [20]

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Sunrise (?) in Sonag, Thursday January 18, 2007

     Another nasty morning.  Twenty degrees warmer than yesterday at this time but still not conducive to beachwalking. Uncle Jack's admiration for the late Nellie Myrtle Pridgen, who walked the beach in all weather every day for decades, knows no bounds.  (If you have never visited the NMP Beachcomber Museum in Nags Head you have a treat in store.  Keep an eye out for occasional announcements of Open Houses at the museum.  It's a gem.) There was no visible sunrise this morning but Uncle Jack did make another short video of the still-rough surf.  Click on the YouTube link below to see it.  Lots of gulls wheeling around in the wind.

    Uncle Jack did go to the Y yesterday and he shot baskets while Mrs. U.J. swam laps.  It's great exercise for a senior citizen and has its own built-in reward mechanism.  To Uncle Jack's aged ears there is still no sound quite as pleasing as the "swish" of a basketball passing cleanly through the net after a good shot.  He will probably never regain the magic touch he once had in his pre-bifocal days but it's fun when he hits a groove once in a while and everything goes in.  (There was another gent in the gym yesterday who must have been even older than Uncle Jack because he was shooting free throws underhand!) The YMCA is a wonderful amenity for year-round residents, especially in the winter.  It occurred to Uncle Jack while he was shooting free throws that a tiny fraction of the money the Nags Head commissioners seem determined to throw into the ocean this year could pay for a full membership for every citizen in the town for years to come. Wouldn't that be nice?

      Have a great day wherever you are.  He hopes you aren't in San Antonio where not only is it freezing but the Spurs lost a heartbreaker to the visiting Lakers last night.


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7 a.m. Not much color in the sky this morning.

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Not much walking room on the beach south of the aptly named Whitecap Street.

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That speck of red on the horizon wasn't really the sun. Just an opening in the clouds for a few seconds.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZB9BD4DTmg

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:09 AM

Comments [8]

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Unrise in Sonag, Wednesday, January 17, 2007

      Uncle Jack is sorry to report that normalcy has returned to the Outer Banks.  He and Mrs. U.J. bundled up and fought their way through a brisk north wind to the beach at 7 a.m. but they didn't stay long.  Walking was out of the question, even with the wind, because the surf was lapping the sandbags on all the houses near Whitecap street. The temperature was 25 degrees lower than yesterday morning and the wind chill factor made it feel like they were in Buffalo, New York.

     Even so it isn't as bad as it is in San Antonio, Texas where some friends have gone in search of sun and warmer temperatures.  They arrived yesterday in a sleet storm which closed all the interstate highways in the area as well as the public schools.  Freezing rain is forecast every day for the rest of the week. Sometimes life is just not fair.

     Uncle Jack stayed at the beach just long enough to make a 30 second video of what it looks like up there this morning.  You can see what you're missing by clicking on the YouTube link below.

    Have a lovely day wherever you are. Uncle Jack (recently retired) is going over to the Y and shoot baskets in lieu of beachwalking today. Look for a full report tomorrow.


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This is what it looked like in the southeast where the sun was supposed to come up a little after 7 a.m. Obviously it wasn't going to happen so we didn't hang around.

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The surf was rolling right up to the stairway they usually use to access the beach. What a contrast with yesterday.

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Uncle Jack spotted this porpoise yesterday morning. He was nowhere to be seen today.

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He hopes these sailors who left South Nags Head yesterday morning have made it to calmer waters. They wouldn't want to be off the Outer Banks today.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TVF0cnrgTg

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:34 AM

Comments [4]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Sunrise spectacular in Sonag, Tuesday Jan. 16, 2007

          We are more than halfway through January and still no sign of anything resembling winter on the Outer Banks.  It was 65 degrees when Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. hit the beach at 6:40 this morning.  The ocean is flat and the wind almost non-existent. To top it all off the sunrise this morning was one of the most magnificent they have ever seen, dolphins were cavorting in the surf along with a flock of merganser ducks and huge flights of pelicans were flapping around like it was July again.  What a great morning to be alive and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

      It does look like change is in the offing, though. Black clouds are moving in from the west and a few drops of rain fell before they got home from their walk to Jennette's truncated pier. Perhaps if it rains all day it will inspire Uncle Jack to think gloomy thoughts about beach renourishment which he will share with his patient readers tomorrow.     

     He made a short video of this morning's incredible sunrise.  If you have three minutes to spare it's worth it.  Click on the YouTube link below. 

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6:40 a.m.

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7 a.m.

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7:15 or thereabouts.

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At one point the whole sky was lit up various shades of pink and orange.

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One of the many many mergansers mingling with the godwits and gulls this morning.

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This large sailboat spent the night anchored off Whitecap street in South Nags Head. They hoisted sail at about 7:15 and headed south, surrounded by feeding porpoises.

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A half hour later it was nearly out of sight, silhouetted against the rising sun.

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Jennette's pier house has become a vast pigeon loft. There must be a hundred or more living in it and under it. Yuk.

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Uncle Jack thought last night's sunset was quite something until he saw this morning's sunrise.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lASetHGc5j8

posted by Uncle Jack at 11:49 AM

Comments [3]

Monday, January 15, 2007
Sunrise from Jockey's Ridge, Monday January 15, 2007

     The weatherman says this will be the last day of our freaky run of June-in-January weather so Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are trying to make the most of it.  After climbing Jockey's Ridge yesterday afternoon they decided to return this morning before sunrise to observe the event from that dramatic vantage point.

     Needless to say they had the entire park all to themselves (it doesn't officially open until 8 a.m.) and it was worth the effort to be able to view the entire panorama of sky, clouds, ocean, sound and land, all at one time, from the top of the tallest dune.  He knows they won't let 20 years go by before they do it again.  It's a blast.

     Have a lovely day wherever you are.  It will be easy to do on the Outer Banks today, that's for sure.  Further haruspication on the subject of beach renourishment can wait for the next rainy day. 

P.S.  Take a ride on a hang-glider by clicking on the YouTube link below.

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6:45 a.m. looking southeast from the top of Jockey's Ridge.

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A half-hour later.

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The sun finally topped the clouds on the horizon at about 7:20.

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A young lady gets ready to make her first hang-glider flight. You can watch her take off on the short YouTube video by clicking on the link below.

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This papier-mache castle was the centerpiece of a putt-putt golf course that once occupied this space before heroic efforts by the late Carolista Baum and others resulted in the creation of Jockey's Rodge State Park.

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In spite of a protective fence the old castle is falling prey to the depredations of souvenir hunters and Mother Nature.

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Even in its present depleted state Jockey's Ridge is a heap of sand. Even global warming won't make it go away anytime soon.

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"Stinson's Ranch" which sits over the water is one of the colorful cottages in "Old Nags Head", the original settlement on the sound side behind Jockey's Ridge.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hNtTIKIVm4

posted by Uncle Jack at 12:36 PM

Comments [0]

Sunday, January 14, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Sunday January 14, 2007

        It's another spectacularly beautiful day on the Outer Banks and Uncle Jack has decided not to spoil it by thinking about beach renourishment.  He and Mrs. U.J. went for a walk on the beach early and now they are going to climb Jockey's Ridge for the first time in about 20 years.  Pictures at 11.

   Have a nice day y'all.

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7 a.m. Nary a cloud in the sky except at the horizon.

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Lots of boats out this morning taking advantage of the balmy temperatures.

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Nothing shabby about last night's sunset.

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Another septic tank and drainfield high and dry on the beach after the Thanksgiving storm. Better hurry and cover it up before the health inspector sees it. (Do we have a health inspector?)

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A rare sight. Walking room in front of the sandbagged cottages fronting Sea Gull Drive at low tide.

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"Goosewing 20" on Sea Gull. When Uncle Jack first sat on this deck 20 years ago there was a street (Sea Gull) in front of it and a row of cottages beyond that. One wonders how much it will cost to keep this house from suffering the same fate.

posted by Uncle Jack at 10:19 AM

Comments [11]

Saturday, January 13, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Blessed are those who find themselves on the Outer Banks this weekend. It is rare to walk the beach in shirtsleeves in mid-January but that is what Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. did yesterday and it looks like they will be able to do it again today. The beach was wide, flat and hard at dawn---perfect for walking and warm enough even at 7 a.m. to make a light jacket more than sufficient.

    He made a short video of the sun rising over a thick cloud bank on the southeastern horizon which can be viewed by clicking on the YouTube link below.

     Uncle Jack has continued to ponder the recent piece of propaganda mailed from somewhere in Nags Head by unknown persons calling themselves "Save Nags Head" to out-of-town owners of Nags Head property.  The mailing urges them to register to vote in Nags Head so they can cast their ballots in favor of a proposed tax increase to partially fund a proposed $32 million beach renourishment project.

   One sentence in the letter that particularly caught his eye was "With your vote, we can save our beaches, protect our economy and continue to enjoy the way of life we all share."  If Uncle Jack thought the expenditure of of a mere $32 million could accomplish all that he would be more inclined to say "Go for it" .  The fact is, he doesn't believe a word of it.

    For one thing dredged sand dumped on our beautiful natural beaches will hardly "save" them. It will cover them up and render them sterile for a while until Mother Nature removes the stuff but that is not quite the same as saving them.  Obviously the major purpose of beach renourishment is not to "save the beaches" but to prolong the lives of oceanfront buildings.  Property owners are exhorted to vote for the tax in order to "....protect your investment".

     The town manager of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, a barrier island community which recently spent $18 million on a beach replenishment project framed the question this way, as quoted in the letter:  "Is it riskier to do nothing and lose homes, tax base and economic activity, or is it riskier to spend X million dollars on sand?"

    That's an excellent question which Uncle Jack will try to address as time goes by.  Stay tuned. 

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7 a.m.

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7:20 a.m.

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A forest of discarded Christmas trees grows at the base of the Outer Banks pier. Will they eventually bury themselves in windblown sand or will they wash away before they get a chance? Stay tuned.

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Bulldozers have been busy south of the Outer Banks pier, too. This work appears to have been done yesterday. (Anybody recognize this house?)

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la9M6AjQCnc

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:55 AM

Comments [5]

Friday, January 12, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Friday January 12, 2007

        This can't be January.  Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. should have checked the weather channel before they headed for the beach at 7 a.m. because it turned out they were badly overdressed. It is not normal to work up a sweat walking on the beach in mid-January and they offer this as further evidence that there really is something to the current clamor about global warming. In any case the high today will be in the 60's and the same is true for the rest of the week-end. He is bewildered but he is not complaining.

   No doubt most of his readers who live elsewhere but own property in Nags Head have recently received a letter signed by somebody or something called "A Community in Need of Your Help".  The letter is headed "Change Your Voter Registration...Stop the Devestation" (sic) and goes on to claim that "Nourishing Nags Head's beaches is a dire emergency".  Out-of-town property owners are urged to register to vote in Nags Head so they can  participate in the April referendum on beach nourishment financing "....and protect your investment".  An enclosure explains how to go about changing your voter registration from the town you live in to Nags Head. The letter concludes "With your vote, we can save our beaches, protect our economy and continue to enjoy the way of life we all share".

    The letter and the enclosure are illustrated with numerous black and white photos of "devestation", primarily in South Nags Head, which will be familiar to regular perusers of Uncle Jack's weblog. The promulgators of the letter, whoever they are, appear to believe that such "devestation" can be stopped by spreading $32 million worth of dredged sand on some ten miles of Nags Head's beaches.

    The fact that there is very little evidence to support this point of view and a great deal of evidence to the contrary is not mentioned in the letter or anywhere in the enclosures.  Uncle Jack will do his best to fill in some of the gaps in subsequent weblogs.  Stay tuned.

    For a short video of this morning's rather nice sunrise click the YouTube link below.



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7:00 a.m.

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7:15 a.m.

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Northeast corner of the Comfort Inn South. The amount of sand removed by the Thanksgiving storm is indicated by the "high and dry" walkover in the foreground.

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Another scene of "devestation" in South Nags Head. The last beach nourishment project in front of this building five years ago did not seem to take. The sand was gone in six months.

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This condominium just south of the Tanger Mall in Nags Head is rapidly approaching completion. Rumor has it that another one is coming in the same vicinity.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BhFWT9COEk

posted by Uncle Jack at 10:18 AM

Comments [8]

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Thursday Jan. 11, 2007

Uncle Jack apologizes for missing yesterday’s magnificent sunrise but he has an excuse. As the sun rose behind him he was tooling up Route 158 en route to Virginia Beach where he delivered the Mini to the intensive care unit at Checkered Flag Mini at 9 a.m. After two hours of probing the Mini’s innards the diagnosticians discovered an ailing fuel pump, the end result of a series of misfortunes that plagued our trip from Baltimore to Nags Head on Tuesday.

A malfunctioning gas gauge had caused the Mini to run completely out of gas up in Currituck County (fortunately right across the road from a gas station) which in turn caused crud from the bottom of the gas tank to lodge in the fuel pump which is now in the process of being repaired while Uncle Jack tools around in a “loaner” from Checkered Flag. His temporary transport is something called a “Yaris” (which sounds and drives like a Dr. Seuss character) from Toyota.It's a poor substitute for a Mini but at least it demonstrates just how lucky he is not to have to drive a Yaris all the time.

It was cold up on the beach this morning but overall the ambience was lovely in spite of the arrival of an early-rising bulldozer which went to work just as the sun was coming up. Uncle Jack made a short video of the sunrise which you can see by clicking on the YouTube link below. He also made a an even shorter video of a working bulldozer which he will upload to YouTube when time permits this morning.


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7 a.m.

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7:15 a.m. Looks like a glorious day in store for the Outer Banks.

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Son of Sisyphus. 'Dozing at dawn.

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This is some of his handiwork from the past few days.

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This guy has been busy. Beach pushing is now permitted from dawn to dark, seven days a week. It's a race against time because the winter northeasters could be upon us any time.

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This tableau suggests just how much sand Mother Nature moved during the recent Thanksgiving storm. It takes a heap of bulldozing to put it back.

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The 'dozer operators always have plenty of company from opportunistic gulls.

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The godwits remain aloof. Class birds.

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Uncle Jack's temporary ride. It's not nearly as exciting to drive as it looks, unfortunately. "Yaris" must mean something in Japanese but Uncle Jack doesn't want to know what it is.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x0dCcyI0PU

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:46 AM

Comments [11]

Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Sunrise in Sonag, Tuesday January 9, 2007

    Uncle Jack is happy to report that he and Mrs. U.J. are back in South Nags Head to stay for a long time.  Needless to say they greatly enjoyed this morning's sunrise even though it was somewhat lacking in pizazz.

     He will let the pictures speak for themselves this morning while he tries to get caught up on two weeks worth of mail and other miscellaneous responsibilities. Click on the YouTube link below for a brief video of sunrise and surf.

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7 a.m. Not a cloud in the sky.

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7:15. Looks like a sunny day in store but it won't be as warm as it has been. A great day for bulldozing for sure.

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On the boardwalk at Seaside Park, New Jersey where we visited friends on the way home from Maine. This was the warmest January 7 ever with a high of 73.

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A fabulous new old-fashioned diner in Tom's River. Only in New Joisey.

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The fabulous Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass., established in 1773. Normal Rockwell immortalized it in a painting entitled "Main Street, Stockbridge".

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mz0-BVuhXc

posted by Uncle Jack at 10:33 AM

Comments [7]

Thursday, January 4, 2007
South coast of Maine, Wednesday Jan. 3, 2007

    After a pleasant night in Old Orchard Beach we continued down the coast road visiting towns like Kennebunkport (of Bush family fame), York Beach and Kittery before heading west through Massachusetts to Stockbridge. We have spent a delightful night in the Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge's most historic hotel, founded in 1773 and in operation ever since.  At prevailing winter rates it was one of the most completely satisfying hotel experiences we have had in all our travels.  The Red Lion even has complimentary high-speed broadband in all of its antique-filled rooms.  Stockbridge is the home of the Norman Rockwell mansion and museum and it fairly reeks of Rockwellian charm.  The Red Lion itself contains dozens of signed Rockwell paintings and prints, including a magnificent image of the hotel  entitled "Main Street Stockbridge".  Wounded Knee would love it.

    Today's short film features yesterday's sunrise at Old Orchard Beach which is Maine's premier resort for beach lovers because the strand is actually seven miles long compared with a few hundred feet in most places.  Uncle Jack made two films, one of the pre-sunrise and the other of the sun actually coming up.  Click on the YouTube link to see one of them and while you are on YouTube take a look at the other one, too.  Altogether they constitute six minutes of transcendant beauty if he says so himself.

    Today we head south on the Taconic Parkway to the Tappan Zee Bridge and then down the Garden State to Morristown, N.J. to visit friends. We are still aiming to be home by Monday afternoon.  Ciao.



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Just before sunup at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Wednesday morning Jan. 3.

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Looking north at Old Orchard Beach which has been a popular resort for over 150 years. Amazingly it retains an old-fashioned feel with a waterfront amusement park, small motels, modest houses and little or no high density development. We loved it.

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They wouldn't let the developers tear down this historic building in York Beach so they are putting a new parking lot under it and restoring it. Quite an undertaking.

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This is the grand old hotel next door.

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This is York Beach. All of it. Much ado about not very much. Besides the water is never warm enough to swim in.

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Cape Nedick lighthouse near York Beach. They don't get any more picturesque than this.

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The only access to the lighthouse is by this breeches buoy.

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Fort McNary near Kittery dates back to before the war of 1812.

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Sunset in Stockbridge, with Mobil sign (the only illuminated sign in the village and much despised by the more sensitive locals).

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Almost forgot L.L. Bean. Tourist poses with giant replica of the boot that made it all happen. (Mr. Bean's first 1000 pairs fell apart but he fixed them and the rest is history).

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N01SpXFG-qM

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:00 AM

Comments [5]

Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Adios Camden, Tuesday January 2, 2007

    This weblog entry goes into cyberspace from the Dominion Motor Hotel in Old Orchard Beach, Maine's answer to the Outer Banks for the past 150 years.  We arrived here after dark but are looking forward to exploring the terrain in daylight tomorrow.  We can hardly wait because it looks like a delightful beach town.

     After nailing down a waterfront rental for next summer in Camden Harbor we headed down Route 1 to Freeport for a short visit to the fabled L.L. Bean store which Mrs. U.J. had never seen.  It was certainly worth the stop but we were not tempted to buy, even with the so-called winter sale prices. Mr. Bean did not get rich by giving away merchandise, that's for sure

     On New Year's Day we went to a jazz concert in a private home in Belfast which turned out to be one of the most delightful listening experiences we have ever had.  The opening act was the father-son team (guitar and violin) of Jay and Bjorn Peterson who played in the style of  Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli.  The word "prodigy" is hardly sufficient to describe Bjorn Peterson, age 13, who plays like he is twice as old.  Uncle Jack made a short video of  one of their performances which you see and hear by clicking the YouTube link below.

    He also made a video of the "Maine Act", a fantastic guitar duo who also play gypsy style jazz after Django Reinhart.  You can find this one among Uncle Jack's YouTube offerings, too.  Really great music. Check it out. 

   The broadband connection in the Dominion Motor Hotel is so excruciatingly slow that Uncle Jack has decided to give up after two pictures.  More tomorrow if conditions are favorable.

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Jay and Bjorn Peterson at work. Jay went to high school with Garrison Keillor in Anoka, Minnesota and worked in radio with him early on.

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Ryan and Shepp tearing it up. Two incredibly talented musicians.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf0zA_voNNM

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:22 PM

Comments [2]

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After retiring in 2005 after 35 years as owner/operator of Yellowhouse Gallery and Annex on the Beach Road in Nags Head, Uncle Jack, accompanied by Mrs. Uncle Jack (a.k.a. Susan), commenced to travel extensively. This blog is a chronicle of their ramblings around the U.S. (in their redoubtable Mini Cooper convertible) as well as visits to England, Ireland, France, Italy, and Malta, interspersed with lengthy stays in South Nags Head and Baltimore between trips. He took a lot of pictures along the way, many of which are posted along with each blog entry.
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