Gig Line: An assortment

Published 8:23 am Saturday, March 16, 2024

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Spirited fun seekers: Please do not forget to attend the 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Sunday, March 17, 2024, in Nags Head starting at 1 p.m. RAIN or SHINE! Mike Kelly and his “right hand” overseeing the parade, Mary Ann Newman, have again devoted countless hours into the anticipated and much appreciated parade to travel starting at Bladen Street (MP 11.5) north to Driftwood Street on Virginia Dare Trail (more often referred to as the Beach Road).

This year the Dare County Historical Maritime Industry will serve as marshal for the parade, and I say kudos to them! Our commercial, charter, boat building heritage is a big part of why we all love it so much and why so many high school graduates who attend college decide later to return to Dare County to live, work and love this beautiful place they call home … the Outer Banks. If they do not attend our local College of The Albemarle they often return for permanency and in turn create, establish, and open their own businesses here, becoming much celebrated entrepreneurs.

Watermen – be it commercial fishermen who long-line or drop-net; or the charter/sports fishing fleet, crabbers, shrimpers and oystermen – these men (and women) are authentic! Fresh seafood is abundant here and it beats the heck out of frozen fish no telling where from. Even in some of the local grocery stores you sometimes find frozen filets from out of the U.S. that include baby size filets – I saw it for myself – several pieces of flounder were no longer than the distance from the base of my hand (palm) to the end of my middle finger, if that. I suggest that IF you love your seafood FRESH, go to our local seafood markets and fish houses. Our watermen and women work extremely hard to harvest the best of the best and depending on the weather, wind and currents. Fresh beats the heck out of what has been frozen, shipped and from across the world, not scrutinized like we do in America – gross!

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I mean, gee whiz, who does not or could not love the Outer Banks? And if they don’t, what ails them? If you love our beautiful beaches, our natural habitat with our marshes and woods and huge Jockey Ridge offering sound side activities and the oceanside possibilities? Forget about it! Our home-sweet-home it is a mecca environment! But do you know the absolute best part of living or visiting here? The people! Outer Bankers are supreme when it comes to embracing newcomers and while residents welcome the fall and winter months when our roads are not so heavily traveled (traffic, traffic and more traffic) we are grateful for the businesses that offer so many jobs, even if only on a seasonal basis.

If you have a son or daughter who might have interest in a career in the hospitality industry, this is the place for them to get their feet wet! Having been an OBX Realtor for 40 years now, I know! We have weekly vacation homes, seasonal rentals, Airbnbs, long term, commercial and everything between. A front desk reception job provides a gazillion guest services, rental and property management experiences and scenarios … everything from being a referral source for eateries, entertainment, bike and beach rental access, to special event venues and alerting guests to vacate their rental home prior to the arrival of a hurricane. We know the drill all too well … upon guests forfeiting their keys and temporarily departing; we prep houses for the threat of bad weather; inspect the properties afterward; communicate to the guest on the outskirts anxious to return and resume their vacation the status of their rental home; and then welcome them back after the house is deemed safe and habitable prior to re-entry. There are a considerable number of Realtors and property management companies from Corolla to Hatteras Village who strive to do their best for our guests and property owners who also sit in limbo hoping their home survived the storm unscathed. We are professionals and we know the drill – we take good care of everybody as best we can usually leaving our own home and affairs to prep last … that, my friend, is dedication!

In the fall we have a Veterans Week – a long celebration of our veterans offering everything from business discounts for visitors, live entertainment, a free two-day Veteran Writing Project (that is wonderful, I might add) and to all kinds of other unique events our veterans enjoy each year. I can assure you that Dare County is a veteran friendly and a veteran loving county! In other words, we welcome you 365 days a year and we welcome you to become an Outer Banks supporter and contributor to our communities and our economy by becoming another “local.”

The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council is comprised of seven members, six of which are veterans – the seventh is the wife of a retired veteran and then there is Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County veteran service officer. That special title equates to Patty being qualified and certified to help our veterans to openly discuss and investigate the potential of a V.A. disability claim; file the claim for a veteran; request a duplicate DD-214; issue a free Dare County Veteran Discount Card to eligible veterans (DD-214 showing honorable discharge), proof of full time Dare County residency with a local drivers license, a year round lease agreement named as occupant or a Dare County property tax bill or local utility bill in the veteran’s name. The procedure of issuing you a card takes all of 10 minutes. To contact Patty to inquire about an appointment with her, please call her office: 252-475-5604, cell/text: 252-473-7749 or by email: patricia.o’ PLEASE NOTE: having served as secretary for the council for the past 11 years, I now serve as a volunteer and I continue to issue your discount cards as well. If you would like to contact me, I would like to hear from you, so please call/text my cell: 252-202-2058 or email me:

If this is the first time you have read Gig Line, it is a Sunday weekly column, although available on newsstands on Saturday. I have written this opinion column for almost 12 years inspired by my husband and best half – the incredible true love of my life, Billy, a U.S. Army – Vietnam veteran who passed away July 2016 due to exposure to Agent Orange.

My column runs the gambit … dedicated to veterans but I also touch on current affairs and events; matters of particular importance; a range of topics that enlighten you and I share my love of the good Lord, my family, friends and this great country we are privileged to live in and call our “homeland.”

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy! Take care of yourselves and those you love and please pray for our troops everywhere they are around the world; pray for their safety, solid decisions in battle and a safe return to their family and friends. The good Lord loves you folks, and I love you too. God bless you all! Stay tuned!