Category Archives: People

Manx on the Banx

About 1964 Bruce Meyers popularized dune buggies with his innovation of a fiberglass body that fit over a shortened Volkswagen chassis. The Meyers Manx was sold as a kit and could be assembled by most anyone with a knack for mechanics. Other companies were later spawned from the same concept. In 1969, I built a buggy from a spinoff produced by Empi. It was so much fun and honed my interest in cars, especially VW’s. That was more than 50 years ago. 

Earlier this month an Outer Banks tradition that began over a decade ago, returned with 84 registered participants. Manx on the Banx is a gathering of folks with a common interest. That interest is dune buggies. In the past, I’ve enjoyed watching and listening to them buzz through town. This year we were invited on the Hatteras Island drive in a loaner buggy, courtesy of our friends and neighbors at Island Cruisers.


On the first day in Nags Head, an introduction was held for registrants and their guests.

Raffle tickets were sold for a quilt made from t-shirts belonging to Bruce Meyers. It was particularly poignant in that Meyers had passed away in February at the age of 94.

Buggies of all descriptions were assembled, each one individually custom built.

They are powered by a variety of motors, but mostly modified Volkswagen engines.

They came from all around the country. Many were personally autographed by Meyers.

This one is powered by Honda.

A Manx from Ohio was built using a Corvair chassis and motor.

I was intrigued by the different exhaust systems.

Another entry from Ohio sports a VW power plant with a metallic red finish.

I don’t know what was behind this, but it looked exotic.

From the front, Meyers Manx buggies have a classic look.

By the afternoon we were gathered at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

One paint job really caught my eye.

Driven to the Outer Banks from California, this beauty has competed in the Baja 1000 several times and one year took top honors in its class. Known as a Dual Sport Baja Edition, it uses a water-cooled Subaru motor.

Like many others, it pays homage to Bruce Meyers.

This buggy reminded me of my bright yellow Empi Imp.

One Hummer-style buggy was there from New York. The body was manufactured in Washington state.

Eric and Damon Stump are two thirds of the Island Cruisers crew. At their invitation our day was well spent.




Crossing the Bar

December of 1985 I went on a three day fishing trip with Captain Terry Saunders aboard the 80 foot trawler, Richard Wayne. Based in Wanchese, he was going offshore, dragging for winter flounder. For two days, productivity was moderate with calm seas.

That night, lying in a forepeak bunk I felt changes in the tempo of the waves. By early morning the wind had freshened from the northeast making for some choppy conditions.

Stevie Daniels’ Bailey Boy fished nearby.

The captains discussed navigating the narrow shoaling channel at Oregon Inlet before conditions deteriorated further.

They decided to cut the trip short, head back and not take unnecessary chances, crossing the shallow bar into the inlet. I shot Bailey Boy heading over the shoal as it followed us home.

Earth Day

With Earth Day officially two days ago, I thought about some natural wonders that I’ve seen. During the 80’s and 90’s, I made quite a few trips to play and photograph in Costa Rica. They were all diverse, fantastic experiences, and I especially admired tropical rainforests.

On a 1994 trip, traveling with long time friend Allen Jones, we hiked into remote Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula and spent a better part of a week camping, exploring and taking pictures.

Considered one of the most biodiverse systems on earth, the park at Corcovado is a classic example of old growth tropical rainforest.

Leaving Corcovado, we noticed a logging road just outside the park so we drove in. A huge clearing indicated lots of tree cutting.

Continuing down the road, we watched a truck leaving, loaded with huge logs.

The red dirt road meandered up into a dense forest.

At the end of the road, workers were dragging logs from the woods then loading them onto a truck.

It was a good time for my limited Spanish to came in handy. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could take some photographs.  They welcomed us and continued working.

Logs were skidded from the forest one at a time then cut to length for transport.

Back in the forest were bare stumps selectively numbered for harvest.

With such beautiful heartwood, the trees must have been quite old.

While cutting a log, the man on the left caught a small wood fragment in his eye. I got my first aid kit equipped with some eye drops to wash it out, a technique I learned as an EMT. He was quite appreciative. Despite destruction of the forest, I had to respect these men, working so hard to earn a living, supporting their families.

Decades later I wonder how much if any, of that virgin forest is remaining.




Old Christmas 2021

Where I live, the celebration of Old Christmas has been a certainty every new year. I’ve heard that it’s been going on for over a hundred years, and probably longer. This year it would have been on January 2nd, except for the pandemic. It was cancelled for the first time ever.  

The festivities normally take place from the afternoon and into the night. I have to admit my favorite part of it, other than the appearance of Old Buck, is the oyster roast.

This year to compensate, I collected a bucket of oysters from Pamlico Sound and had them on my front porch. I gave some away and ate the rest.

I shucked a panful for the oven.

The flavor of a chilled, raw Pamlico Sound oyster is unsurpassed.

I missed sharing them with my friends, like this feast from 2009.

I also missed greeting Old Buck.

The next day I went to an empty community building where Old Christmas would have been celebrated. It was stark with nothing to clean up after what would have been a night of revelry.

I visited a monument nearby dedicated to our working watermen and thought about my friends that have lost their lives to the sea.

Eddie O’Neal, Dennis Midgett, Ed Corley, Russ Privott and Mike Midgett came to mind.


October has long been my favorite month to live on Hatteras. The weather and waves are an important part of this feeling, but another reason is to experience bird migrations. You never know what might show up.

Recently I heard of a bald eagle in Salvo, so I went to have a look. Across the Pamlico Sound the area of Mattamuskeet is a prime nesting ground for these majestic birds, so it’s no surprise that some of them find their way across the water to Hatteras Island where they can find an abundance of fish.

In my years living here, I’ve seen eagles perhaps a dozen times. My first sighting was one that had been injured, then rehabilitated and released on Pea Island.

In August of 1981 I shot this Kodachrome of Refuge Manager Ron Height, as he released this immature bald eagle.