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Candy Bomber Comes to the Outer Banks

Colonel Halvorsen talking to students from Manteo High School at Dare County Airport.

The Candy Bomber—a restored C54 transport plane—has made the journey to the Outer Banks every year since 2000. This year Lt. Colonel Gail Halvorsen (USAF, Ret.) who was the Candy Bomber in 1948.

Listening to the Colonel talk about his experiences is a like taking a guided tour into a piece of history that is almost forgotten but resonates as he recalls his  experiences.

He was a 27-year-old First Lieutenant flying cargo planes in Europe when the Soviet Union closed all land access to Berlin. At the time the Germany was divided into sectors of control with the British, French and Americans controlling West Germany and the Soviets East Germany. 

Berlin, in the heart of East Germany was also divided and in June of 1948 the Soviets cut off all land access to the city believing that if the residents could not get food and supplies they would turn to the East Germany and become part of the Eastern bloc of nations.

The Allies began the Berlin Airlift, to this day the largest and most sustained airlift ever mounted—and through their efforts kept a city of 2,000,000 alive.

Halvorsen went beyond the call of duty, and in an act of compassion started dropping candy bags attached to homemade parachutes to kids at the gathered at the end of the runway.

He didn’t ask permission; he just did it because he thought it was the right thing to do—which almost got him in a lot of trouble with his commanding officer.. The word came down though, that that small act of kindness by one American pilot had a tremendous effect on morale, and soon all of the American planes were dropping candy to the children of Berlin.

Colonel Halvorsen is 94-years-old now. He came with the Candy Bomber to the Dare County Airport this year. And energetic man with a wonderfully positive attitude toward life, he is wonderful example of a life well-lived.

An OBX Celebration of Christmas

 

Outer Banks Hotline and Children at Play got together this year and combined Santa and the Train with the Festival of Trees, held everything at the Outer Banks Brewing Station and it was fantastic.

Santa and the Train is wonder afternoon of children delighting in being children and three or four hours of adults remembering the joy of childhood during the holidays.

In the backyard of the Brewing Station a golf cart is hauling around three or four cars decorated in Christmas scenes. The cars are filled with little kids. 

Inside there is Santa Claus, crafts and a sock skating rink which has kids sliding, falling and laughing.

The Festival of Trees in in the huge tent out back and it’s hard to tell, but it looks as though there are more trees filled with gifts than ever.

This is the 26th Annual Festival of Trees, and it is the major fundraiser for Outer Banks Hotline. Santa and the Train is also a huge fundraiser—Carole Dawn Emerson the Executive Director for Children at Play remarked that the money raised at the event enables the organization to keep their doors during the winter.

The Festival of Trees has moved around a bit over the past few years, but it seems most at home at the Brewing Station for some reason.

Festival of Trees especially is truly a community event with numerous Outer Banks businesses contributing trees, auction items and gifts to throw into a raffle.

A great way to celebrate the holidays.

Outer Banks Cleansup after Nor'easter

Cleaning up the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk.

The backhoes and road graders were out in force this morning cleaning up after the three day nor’easter that hammered us. The north end of Kitty Hawk always seems to experience some of the worst of it whenever the seas get churned up, and with waves in the surf zone at 11-16’, winds from the NE at 25-30 with stronger gusts, there was a fair amount of over wash on the beach road.

Not much damage, though, as far as we could tell. We did notice that the dune line in front of Ocean Boulevard where owner Donny King has been stabilizing the sand with Christmas Trees held up remarkably well.

South of us, Hatteras Island got really hammered. NC12 had to be closed for a couple of days as the ocean washed over the roadbed at the temporary bridge at New Inlet and topped the dune line at the S Curves. 

The north end of Buxton really took a beating. The beach there has been retreating for a number of years, and this storm seemed to bring home how important it is that action be taken.

Dare County has plans to nourish the beach in that area. However, the beach itself is owned by the National Park Service and there is an additional level of legal complications in nourishing that beach because of circumstance.

Christmas Brings Small Town America to Life on OBX

With the Holiday Season in full swing on the Outer Banks it seems like there is almost too much to do to see everything, but there are a couple of must see traditions for folks living and visiting here.

Last night’s tree lighting in downtown Manteo is one of those slices of small town life that should never be missed if there is any way to get there. Centered around the steps of the old Dare County Courthouse, that’s now the home of the Dare County Arts Council, the celebration of the season is a wonderful reminder of what is best about small town life in America.

There is free hot chocolate and cider.  A local church hands out Brunswick stew—and it’s really good, too—children’s choirs sing, dancers dance, there’s narration, Santa Claus and of course the giant evergreen in the parking lot between the Tranquil House Inn and Poor Richards gets lit.

The weather was perfect for the event last night and the 2014 version may have been the best attended yet . . . and they have been doing this for something like 40 years.

Another great event on Roanoke Island—and this one ongoing—is the Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens. One of the finest formal gardens anywhere, the paths are lit with thousands of lights for the holiday season. Beautiful and memorable.

Outer Banks Model UN Dinner at Brewing Station

Model UN delegates and parents at the the Outer Banks Brewing Station.

After our visitors have left the Outer Banks what remains is a wonderful, thriving community that truly cares about our kids and their education. That caring attitude was on full display at the Outer Banks Brewing Station on Wednesday night.

The event was an international dinner for the First Flight High School Model UN program. Started three years ago, membership in the school sponsored club has mushroomed to over 50 active members. The dinner was part of a fund raising effort for a February trip to a competition and conference in Norfolk in February.

There were over 75 parents, grandparents, teachers and students sampling national dishes from Latvia, Japan, Cameroon and other countries. It was a great time to try some foods not normally on a menu, catch up with friends and help fund an outstanding program in a local school. The final count is not in, but it looks as though more than $1500 was raised to help the First Flight kids take part in an international role playing event.

The Model UN program is an international educational simulation and academic competition where students from schools across a region meet to address international issues in a simulated international setting.

 

Small Business Saturday OBX Style

Kitty Hawk Kites at Jockey's Ridge Crossing in Nags Head lit up for Holiday shopping.

 

Today was Small Business Saturday, which admittedly is a somewhat manufactured special day, but here on the Outer Banks it has a lot of resonance. Almost all the businesses are small businesses. Yes, there is a Walmart and a Kmart, but other than that, locally owned, locally managed . . . local everything defines our businesses.

Mom and Pop businesses? Yes, they are. Our kids go to school with their kids, we see them at community events, so yes, the Gray family who own Gray’s Departments Stores or John Harris who founded Kitty Hawk Kites 40 years ago, are very much a part of the Outer Banks community.

With that comes a great spirit of pulling together, and trying to have fun while doing it.

The town of Duck always gets high marks for celebrating the Holiday season with a little different flair. 

Saturday (12/6) is their annual Christmas parade with Santa arriving via fire truck. Then there’s the lighting of the crab pot Christmas Tree on the Village Green. 

And for everyone hanging out there on Saturday, or shoppers who find their way to the village, there is the Holiday Window Decoration Contest

Twenty-five businesses participating, now through December 19. It seems like a great reason to wander through the town and do a little shopping.

 

Joe Lamb, Jr. List of OBX Thanksgiving Fine Dining

Thanksgiving week is officially here which in some ways is one of the busiest weeks of the year here on the Outer Banks. Seems a bit counterintuitive because . . . well, the weather isn’t alway all that great this late in the season. 

Thanksgiving, though, being probably the best family holiday ever—what can be better than lots of food surrounded by people who genuinely love care for one another—seems to bring our property owners to the beach with their families.

That’s one of those great reasons for owning a home at the beach, the chance to getaway with your family when it means the most.

Of course, one of the problems is, after spending six or seven hours in a car getting to the destination, a lot of people don’t feel like spending an extra hour or two shopping for Turkey Day dinner and then putting in another half day preparing it.

Luckily, a number of Outer Banks restaurants have stepped forward to relieve the stress of Thanksgiving in the kitchen. 

Here then is the Joe Lamb, Jr. list of restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving Day dinners. Some are buffet, some offer table service and some fix the meal to be popped in the oven for a couple of hours.

We may have missed one or two, so if a favorite is not on the list, call and make sure we didn’t miss it.

 

Dinner

Lifesaving Station at the Sanderling   877-734-5792

Ocean Boulevard  252-261-2546

 

Buffet

Sunset Grill   252-261-3910

Red Sky Cafe   252-261-8646

Mako Mike’s   252-480-1919

Beachside Bistro  252-441-7126

Port o’ Call  252-441-7484

Captain Georges  252-480-6677

Kelly Outer Banks Tavern   252-441-4116

Mulligans    252-480-2000

Pamlico Jacks   252-441-2637

Owens’ Restaurant  252-441-7309

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe  252 441-5405

 

Pickup

Coastal Provisions  Wednesday/Thursday  252-480-0023

Chili Peppers  Wednesday/Thursday  252-441-8081

 

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Address: 4607 N. Croatan Hwy | P.O. Box 1030/ Mile Post 2.7 | Kitty Hawk, North Carolina 27949
252-261-4444 / 800-JLambJR / 252-261-3270 (Fax) / info@joelambjr.com