By Marsha M. Brown
At the writing of this GIG LINE, our course has recently been diverted from anticipation of July 4th fireworks and celebrations to thoughts of ‘Arthur’. But no fear…his uninvited presence will soon become a memory just like the rest and Outer Bankers lives will again resume as we know it.
Beyond our first priority and predominant concern for the safety of our families, guests/visitors, our homes and businesses, its times like this that we reflect on the monumental importance of our U. S. Coast Guard. True ‘Outer Bankers’ are vastly familiar with storms of all intensities and even during unexpected severe wind and tide changes, we’re accustomed to counting on our Coast Guard to be there. Those who serve at Nags Head, Wanchese, Oregon Inlet, Hatteras and Ocracoke Island know and accept the critical role they play in the lives of our men and women who make their living on the water. Countless times they’ve been called out in treacherous conditions to make perilous attempts to save recreational, sport and commercial fishermen in addition to storm rescues. Often times the most experienced watermen thank the good Lord for their support and dependable presence. At the scariest of times when no one in their right mind would deliberately venture into the churning ocean blue, our devoted ‘Coasties’ load up and head east all too often to find a vessel rockin’ and rollin’, taking on water, sometimes with no working electronics being tossed around and its crew clinging to life.
As a commercial fisherman’s Mom, I’ve never watched the movie ‘The Perfect Storm’…I can’t. The subject matter is too close to home. Our son Bill has fished non stop since he was nine years old when he began his fishing career as a mate for my Daddy (his ‘Pop’) Capt. Marvin F. Mann. Daddy, being a U. S. Coast Guard retiree, invited Bill initially to fish with him one day on the spur of the minute not realizing that he had set the course for Bill’s future. At 18 years old Bill acquired his Captain’s License and from that time forward to date, his love for fishing and the water has never waned. Bill has sport fished in shore and off shore; drop netted, long lined from the Outer Banks to as far away as Haiti and even as careful and experienced as he is, he has seen pretty scary situations first hand himself. Like most hard core fishermen, Bill’s respect for the water and the U. S. Coast Guard go hand in hand. By ‘hard core’ I mean dedicated, diligent, devoted to his profession, hard working and steadfast. If he can get out…he goes…if he can stay out…he will. It’s his primary goal like all of the guys who fish for a living to keep his crew safe, protect his vessel and catch his limit.
Some years ago after doing just that, he had started in as usual when the wind drastically shifted making it nearly impossible to safely cross the bar. But staying out as rough as it had become wasn’t a viable option and he had no choice but to try to make it in. At that time my sweetie pie Billy and I were living in Salvo when we received a call at 2:00 AM that Bill might not make it. We threw on our clothes, grabbed up our Bible and called our prayer partner to ask her to pray for our son along with us. From Salvo to Oregon Inlet, we prayed with my knees literally knocking together all the way until we saw the blue lights on the beach and eventually heard that everything was OK. According to the Coast Guard Chief – Oregon Inlet, it was Bill’s knowledge and responsible decisions that protected his mate and the boat even though his catch had been lost. During that scare though, Bill knew that the Coast Guard had his back and so did we. It’s comforting to know that they’re there to help. From the bottom of our heart…we appreciate our U. S. Coast Guard! And to our U. S. Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and National Guard we wouldn’t be who we are…or be able to do what we do…without y’all. You make our lives more secure, safer and because of that…happier overall.
We’re officially in the hurricane season folks and home repairs can be costly and frequent. If you’re a veteran and you haven’t obtained your Dare County Veteran I. D. Card, you’re missing out on saving money! Why would you forfeit a chance to be acknowledged and appreciated at the check out register of 37 local businesses who want to honor you and offer a discount on meals, goods or services? Again, the list of local businesses who have signed up to offer Dare County veterans discounts equal to at least 10% are as follows: Ace Hardware (Manteo, Avon, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Grandy and Elizabeth City), Darrell’s Restaurant (Manteo) & Darrell’s 2 BBQ & Seafood (Nags Head), Jolly Roger (K.D.H.), All Fixed Vacuum Sales & Parts (Nags Head), Buxton Auto & Marine (Buxton), Kellogg Supply (Manteo, K.D.H., Duck & Edenton), The Cottage Shop (Nags Head), Kellogg Design Center (Nags Head), Big Al’s Soda Fountain & Grille (Manteo), Full Moon Café (Manteo), Stripers Bar & Grille (Manteo), A & B Carpet (Kitty Hawk), Pizza Hut (Manteo), La Dolce Vita Restaurant (Manteo), Ortegaz Grill (Manteo), Quarterdeck Restaurant (Frisco), Garden Deli & Pizzeria (Manteo), A J & M Home Improvement (Manteo), NAPA Auto Parts (Manteo, Kitty Hawk), Berry’s Automotive Care (Manteo), Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern (Nags Head), Datafix Computer Solutions (Manteo), My Secret Garden (Manteo), Gulf Stream Gifts (Nags Head), Hallmark Gift Shop (Nags Head) and the most recent to sign up is Sugar Creek Seafood Restaurant (Nags Head).
To obtain your ‘Card’ please go to the American Legion Post 26 located 302 W. Lake Drive, Kill Devil Hills, N.C. 27948 approx. 9.5 Mile Post west side of Croatan Highway (by-pass), behind T-Tops – second building on the right each Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Just bring your DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge and proof of local address (preferably Driver’s License). Also while you’re there you can also pick up a free Veterans Benefit Book, info on Agent Orange and membership applications to join or transfer to our local American Legion Post 26 and V.F.W. Post 10950. Over the last week, I’ve learned more touching accounts of good deeds being done for fellow veterans by fellow veterans – some of which are the most senior veterans among us. Veterans care…and what matters to them and will help them…should matter to all of us too. Call us if we you know a veteran who needs help in some way. My cell: (252) 202-2058 because we sincerely welcome your calls. Help us help our heroes. Also if you’re a veteran visiting the Outer Banks, we’d like to hear from you too! Until next time, be happy, be safe and by all means be PROUD. Think of our special independence and why we can claim it. We love you and pray God’s blessings on our nation, on you and your family! Support our troops and by all means stay tuned..