Carova couple hosts ‘quarantine’ pizza party

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2020

After moving to Carova Beach two years ago, Tee and Anthony Viscusi opened their home to the local community by hosting pizza parties. They saw these gatherings as a way to meet people, stay in touch and share the same hospitality they received upon moving to the island.

Anthony owned and operated an Italian restaurant for 30 years prior to moving to the Outer Banks. He fell in love with the area and shared that love with Tee. “I came and fell in love with the area too and we decided to build a home and a life here,” Tee shared with The Coastland Times.

PIZZA

Anthony Viscusi bringing pizza from his wood-burning oven. Edna Baden photo

Although Anthony retired from the restaurant business upon moving to the beach, he decided to purchase a beautiful Italian wood-burning free-standing oven. The oven sits on the deck of Tee and Anthony’s stilted beach box.

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The oven made for the perfect addition to the Viscusis’ house parties. “We had parties of fifty people every six weeks or so,” Anthony said, “and I’d make maybe twenty to twenty-five pizzas for everyone.”

After hearing the news about COVID-19 and the executive orders to stay at home, the pizza parties were put on hold. At least, up until the weekend of April 26.

Marlene Slate, a neighbor of Anthony and Tee, reached out to The Coastland Times to share that the couple had decided to provide pizzas to those along the 11-mile area as an outreach. “Anthony and his wife are so generous,” Slate said.

Slate shared that Anthony and Tee reached out to the community via Facebook and email to announce their plans for providing pizza. Neighbors were to call in their orders and Tee would assign time slots to each person to help eliminate the spread of germs.

Another community member, Edna Baden, was on site to take pictures of the weekend’s event. She said that Anthony had built “something a little bit bigger than a pizza box and put it on a pulley” to lower the pizzas down from the deck.

PIZZA

Nancy Hoover trying her hand at lowering the pizza down on the handmade pulley system. Edna Baden photo

“They’ve been a real asset to the community,” Baden shared. She noted that the community pizza parties were a great way to gather the small group of locals that lived in the vicinity year-round together.

“It was just wonderful to see people again,” Tee offered. She said Anthony made 94 pizzas to give away over the course of two days.

One “customer” celebrated a birthday over the weekend and Tee mentioned they decorated his box with birthday ribbons. “It made us feel closer together [with the community] while respectively apart,” she said.

PIZZA

Denise Khouri picking up her pizza from the Viscusis’ house. Edna Baden photo

Anthony said that Matthew Khouri had ordered flour, cheese and pizza boxes for Anthony to use while he had the tomato sauce at home. Anthony made the dough from scratch and cranked his oven up to 800 degrees to fire pizzas out in under 1.5 minutes.

“My lips are still burning right now,” Anthony admitted after the weekend’s festivities came to a close.

When asked if they would consider hosting another pizza pick-up service, Tee said, “We’re certainly not opposed to have it again, but we’re hoping the virus will end . . . if that’s not possible, we still want to see everyone.”

“It’s just wonderful what they did for the community,” Slate said. Anthony admitted that he was just happy to be a part of such a caring neighborhood. “The whole community has really been pulling together through this,” he said.

PIZZA

Tee Viscusi with her dog Chewbacca while waiting for the next friends to arrive. Edna Baden photo

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