D.G. Martin

Eastern North Carolina Eating, The Literary Way

There are hundreds of reasons to celebrate Georgann Eubanks’ third and last in her “Literary Trails of the North Carolina” series. Follow her travels in the just released “Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina,” and you will have the most enjoyable and efficient survey of authors and literary connections in that region.

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North Korea, North Carolina, and a Pulitzer Prize Winning Book

The Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded this week to Adam Johnson for “The Orphan Master’s Son” set in North Korea. It is a very timely selection, given our interest in, puzzlement about, and fear of that country. I have revised and updated a column I wrote last year about the book and North Carolina’s connection to North Korea. Charles Robert Jenkins. Does that name ring a bell? Jenkins is a North Carolina native whom I have wanted to meet for a long time. Why? He knows something first hand about a country that is threatening to send nuclear missiles at our armed forces and at our country’s territory. This strange communist country is led by a hereditary monarchy. I would like to talk to somebody who knows how North Korea works and how North Koreans think and live. As an outsider living half a world away, I find that this country and its people just do not make sense. Jenkins, who was born in Rich Square, is one of a very few Americans who have lived for a substantial time in North Korea. While serving in the Korean War, Jenkins surrendered to the North Koreans and wound up living in North Korea for 40 years. As a North Carolina native, he could explain things to me in terms I could understand. Before the Soviet Union broke up and...

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Hard Facts and Hard Heads on the Outer Banks

Every week we read another news story about access to our coastal islands. Last year Hurricane Sandy and two other storms pushed water across Highway 12, cutting the road to shreds one more time. The channel across Hatteras Inlet filled up, forcing the ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke to close down. Bonner Bridge, which crosses Oregon Inlet and connects Hatteras Island to the mainland, was closed for repairs. As the Oregon Inlet moves southward, the bridge’s support system is washing away. Planned ferry toll increases will penalize island residents and working people who will be denied the kind of access from their homes that other North Carolinians take for granted. When is all this uncertainty going to end? Never, according to retired East Carolina University Geology Professor Stanley Riggs, unless North Carolina’s decision-makers come to grips with certain facts about the long-term future of our barrier islands and other coastal areas. Riggs and his co-authors lay out their version of these facts in their book, “The Battle for North Carolina’s Coast: Evolutionary History, Present Crisis, and Vision for the Future.” Their book explains some of the complex factors that operate in coastal zones where water and land meet. Although the science may be complicated, its application to North Carolina has simple, easy to understand lessons as Riggs explained for his publisher, UNC Press: “Shoreline erosion is the direct product...

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