First First Friday-Fun in Downtown Manteo

 George Wood Photography and others at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery on April 5.
George Wood Photography and others at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery on April 5.

The first official First Friday of the year is coming up and in Manteo and there is so much to do, it’s hard to see how it will all fit into one evening.

Next Friday, April 5 is that first Friday we’re talking about.

Two really interesting events worth checking out are side by side in Manteo. Of course, the downtown area isn’t all that large anyway, but these two really are side by side.

The centerpiece of the First Friday celebrations is the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in what was the county courthouse at one time.

First Friday always introduces the artist who will be featured that month and for April George Wood is his photography will be on display.

George is an interesting guy. He had a whole career as a coastal engineer, but over the past few years he’s turned more and more toward photography. His images are difficult to categorize but beautiful and thought-provoking. 

Upstairs, in what used to be the courtroom, members of the Southeastern Mystery Writers won are on the Outer Banks for a retreat will be doing readings from their books. They did that last year and it was very interesting.

Next door—ok, two doors down from the Arts Council—at Downtown Books, Kevin Duffy will be on hand to sign his many titles on the history of the North Carolina coast. 

His books include The Last Days of Blackbeard, War Zone: WW2 Off the NC Coast, The Lost Light and Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks. Invariably meticulous in their research, they are also a very good read.

His latest project is looking at the Mirlo rescue by the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station in Rodanthe on August 16, 1918.

He’ll also be at the DCAC gallery on Sunday discussing his research.

There’s always lots to do on the Outer Banks. Stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for and while a discover the real Outer Banks.

The Outer Banks, WWII & the Battle for the Atlantic

JLBook Cover

World War II was fought on the doorstep of the Outer Banks. The Battle for the Atlantic ravaged Allied shipping from the Caribbean to the North Sea and the coastal waters of North Carolina saw some of the heaviest losses.

In March of 1942 more than 70 ships were sunk off the coast of North Carolina, many of them within sight of the residents of the Outer Banks. Although that month saw the heaviest losses, the battle continued throughout the war.

The human cost of that battle was brought to life in a presentation at the Coastal Studies Institute by William Geroux. His book, The Mathews Men, Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats, tells the story of the Hodges clan a family of seafarers from Mathews.

Mathews, a small city on the  Chesapeake Bay just north of Norfolk was noted for its maritime traditions. Six of the seven Hodges brothers captained merchant ships during the war and two, Dewey and Leslie, gave their lives for the cause.

Geroux’s presentation highlighted the bravery and effort of the merchant marines—efforts that are often overlooked in telling the story of WWII. Geroux points out that the merchant marines suffered the highest casualty rate of any service group in war although the merchant marines were never recognized as a branch of the armed services and they never qualified for any veteran benefits.

The presentation was part of the CSI’s “Science on the Sound” series, once a month topics of interest to the Outer Banks.

The Mathews Men is available at Downtown Books in Manteo and Duck’s Cottage in Duck.

#Joelamb,jr. #downtownbooks