Letter to the Editor: Remembering Delbert Melton

Published 9:38 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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To the Editor:

I submitted this letter back in 2016, when Delbert Melton was having difficulties with the town. I believe it is still relevant, subsequent to Delbert’s passing.

I came to these Outer Banks in the ’70s, and the landscape of characters were the stuff colorful narratives are made of. A “builder” was anyone that had a tool belt, pickup truck and a dog. It is not unfair to say it was a mecca for misfits. These characters were part of the ambience and mood of our area. I have met many Delbert Meltons over the years, and most contributed economically, as well as their infusion to village charm. Some are gone, but a few are alive and well in our memories, and despite their quirkiness, we love and admire them from afar.

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Melton, a youthful surfer extraordinaire, was a demigod to young surfers. His cocoon of carefree lifestyle prevented him from realizing that time waits for no one, and his lofty goals became more distant. Merriment of life was stolen by age, and its insidious afflictions. Melton is a brave heart and soul that became prey to those who do not have a compassionate spirit. He did not hurt any creature, large or small. He is the wounded spirit now.

I am heartened by the kind act of this community in his rescue. Hope is not lost …

We mourn the loss of Melton, and all he represented in the backdrop of the Outer Banks …

Dreena Birdsall

Kill Devil Hills