Monday, January 17, 2022

Two Beaches - Hatteras Island, Myrtle

Our go to beach vacation when we lived in a stix and brix was Hatteras Island. We first stayed in Hatteras Village and then for several years we stayed at the Outer Banks Motel in Buxton. That was our favorite place because we could sit on the beach and see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. After we went on the road we stayed at the Sands of Time Campground in Avon, a small village just north of Buxton.
Back in our Buxton days the lighthouse was very close to the beach. It was not this close when it was built in the 1860's but over 130 years nearly 1900 feet of beach had eroded away. There was much discussion about what should be done and finally it was decided to lift it up and move it 2900 feet placing it the same distance from the shoreline as it was in 1870.
An old picture from the top of the lighthouse of the beach at the north end of Buxton. The last buildings on the beach are the Outer Banks Motel. The beach north of there is national seashore and will never be developed. That is why we love Hatteras Island.
We were there in 1999 when they picked up the 200 foot tall, 500 ton lighthouse and moved it 2900 feet. It is now about as far from the shoreline as it was in 1870. 
They jacked the lighthouse up and set it down on rollers that moved along the i-beams. Hydraulic jacks were attached to the i-beams and pushed it four or five feet at a time. The beams were then leap-frogged ahead for the next move and the jacks were moved and reattached for the next push. The actual move took 23 days.  
Here it is at its new home in July 1999. The water-filled hole is where it was before the move. You can see the shoreline on the left. What an amazing feat moving such a large structure.
In addition to the lighthouse. they also moved all the out buildings including both the light keeper's houses and this oil storage building.
This is the lighthouse during our latest visit. It is now undergoing major renovation, being painted both inside and out. Unfortunately, that means it is closed to visitors at this time so you can't climb to the top.
Proof that the move was the right thing to do. The jetty was part of a failed attempt to build up the beach around the lighthouse. The bricks are part of a fence that was around it in 1870.
The brick fence in the foreground. The brown and white post was where it was previously and in the distance its new location.
The buildings nearest the ocean are the Outer Banks Motel today. 
An areal view from an old postcard. Some of the buildings have been moved back and they have all been raised. You have to wonder how long it will be before Mother Nature wins this battle.
These are newer homes that had a dune between them and the ocean when they were built. We have always heard Hatteras Island is moving west but never really believed we would see it in our lifetime.
Hatteras is a great place for all kinds of water activities from surfing....
....to fishing.....
....to sun bathing.....
....or just watching the sunrise.
Of course another reason we love it here is the beaches are rarely crowded. Even on holiday weekends you can find a stretch of beach with no people.
Because the island is so narrow if you don't like getting up early for a sunrise you can walk to the sound side for a sunset.
While we did not get to stay as long as we did when we came here in Opus, we still had a great time and always look forward to returning.
Always on our to do list is buxton village books. They took advantage of the covid slowdown and remodeled the whole place. When doing the work they found wood from an old shipwreck that the original builder had used. 
Another great thing about Hatteras is the food. We hit our favorites Ketch 55, Oceana Bistro, Po House and Pangea in Avon. On our way down we stopped at Sam and Omie's and checked out a new place in Hatteras village, Hatteras Sol. None disappointed.
After nine days we drove to Myrtle Beach where my cousin Dee, in the foreground, moved last year. It turned out we were there the same time as Missy and Marty and the girls' mom and my aunt, Elsie. We had a nice time getting caught up with all of them.
Dee has a great house and she sure is happy to escape the Pennsylvania winters.
Our friend John hooked us up with a room in an ocean front high rise. 
It was a great place, but we decided we prefer the uncrowded beaches of Hatteras Island.

We are now back in Stuart and have been busy doing things in our new hometown, plus taking a couple road trips and vacationing in Punta Cana. So I'm still way behind with the blog.

Friday, December 17, 2021

National Museum of African American History & Culture & BLM Plaza

High on our to do list for this Washington, DC visit was the Smithsonian  National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, the Smithsonian's newest, opened in 2016 and celebrates A people's journey, a nations story.
The building is unique in design compared to the other museums and government buildings in the city. 
The lead designer was David Adjaye, the son of a Ghanaian diplomat who has traveled to all 54 independent African nations. It's use of the three tiered facade is inspired by the work of 20th century Yoruban craftsman Olowe while the metal work pays homage to the enslaved and free African Americans who crafted the metal work on buildings in Louisiana, South Carolina and elsewhere.  
The building has sections that feature culture and community with both temporary and permanent exhibits. Here, a painting of Harriet Tubman.  
An amazing quilt depicting Harriet. 
Artist Patrick Martinez recreated Pee Chee portfolios showing those killed by acts of police brutality and social unrest. 
Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police while sleeping.
Another section of the culture galleries, Musical Crossroads, deals with music. This 1973 Eldorado Cadillac belonged to Chuck Berry. There are listening stations throughout this exhibit where you can hear the music of famous African American entertainers, many singing the songs we grew up with.  
The Taking the Stage Gallery deals with TV and stage artists. This is Pittsburgh play write August Wilson. 
The Making Way Out of No Way gallery honors those who worked for freedom and rights from before the Civil War and continues today. 
A high point being the election of the first Black president, Barack Obama, in 2008.
Rosa Parks and President Lincoln. There were also exhibits, Sports: Leveling the Playing Field and Double Victory: The African American Military Experience that we did not have time to see. 
The History Galleries start on the bottom floor with Slavery and Freedom 1400-1877 exhibit. They explain the transatlantic slave trade from their capture in Africa....
....to shipping the people to America aboard over crowded slave ships.
The Paradox of Liberty examines the contradictions of the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson also being a slave owner. Each of the blocks behind him represent a slave he owned.  
Elizabeth Freeman, born a slave, was a Revolutionary War widow who sued her Massachusetts owner John Ashley for her freedom based on the states constitution. Winning her claim to freedom helped end slavery in Massachusetts. 
Benjamin Banneker wrote Jefferson pointing out the contradictions that "all men were created equal" and his owning of slaves. Jefferson answered by complimenting him on his intellect, but did not free his slaves. Banneker published the correspondence in his almanacs. 
These two maps show how growing cotton expanded between 1820 and 1860. More cotton meant more slaves. While Congress banned importing slaves in 1808, illegal slave trade continued. The last slave ship is believed to be the Clotilda that was scuttled in Mobile Bay in July 1860. 
Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876 - 1968 gallery deals with the post Civil War, Reconstruction , Jim Crow and the beginning of the modern civil rights movement. After the Civil War many Black only communities thrived throughout the South. Many of these were marked with violence during the Jim Crow era.
Lynching by White mobs and the KKK was used to intimidate those who prospered and spoke out for rights and freedom. Between Reconstruction and WWII more than 4,400 lynchings took place in the old confederacy. 
Another section deals with the modern (in my lifetime) civil rights movement from the end of WWII and through the 1960's. A tribute to John Lewis, one of the leaders of the Selma March and the youngest person to speak at the March on Washington.
President Johnson signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act which outlawed practices put in place by former confederate states that made it hard to impossible for Blacks to vote. 
A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond gallery deals with changes the movement has brought. Finally, in 2007 all that hard work paid off with the election of the first African American president Barack Obama. Unfortunately, today's political climate proves that progress is not always moving forward and the struggle continues.
This is a training plane used by the all Black Tuskegee Airmen who served in WWII in segregated units. Here is a video about this plane and the men who flew it. Here is a link to our post about our visit to Tuskegee that has a picture of a plane that I believe is the same one. The African American museum is well worth a visit and clearly shows the struggles and victories that have been achieved for equality but also shows how much further we still have to go.
The hotel we stayed in was by Black Lives Matter Plaza. The street was painted with those words during the 2020 demonstrations protesting the murder of George Floyd. 
The plaza became a gathering place for people so the city decided to make it permanent, spelling out the words in concrete and bricks. 
This is what it will look like when completed, a powerful message written in stone. After seeing the struggles of African Americans at the museum, it is shameful that we still have not made the progress we need to as a country.