I've spent the past couple of days in two of my favorite places in eastern NC. On Wednesday I was in Morehead City to do a lunch time presentation for the Friends of Fort Macon. The topic was Union Navy Actions in Onslow County, the same program I gave less than a month ago to the Sons of Union Veterans in the same town. I have a number of friends in the Fort Macon group and it was nice seeing them. It was actually quite a crowd, probably 30 or so. I also took the opportunity to drive down to Fort Macon (the Friends meets at a local restaurant) and check the progress on their brand spanking new "Coastal Education Center." The building looks really impressive and should be open sometime late summer or early fall. BTW, what's up with the fancy names for these buildings? Can't we just call them Visitor's Centers like we always have, or is that not sexy enough to secure funding anymore? I hope that when this new facility is open the park administration does not lose sight of the historical significance of the location in favor of doing a bunch of nature programs. Its not that the natural history and environmental history of the area isn't important, but I have a problem with how organizations in Carteret County tend to overlap in their programming. The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, the NC Maritime Museum at Beaufort, and to a lesser extent, Fort Macon duplicate (or triplicate?) the same type of environmental, nature type programming. How about some history folks!? Why do a maritime museum and a Civil War fort have to duplicate the programming that is being legitimately accomplished at the aquarium? Just my pet peave....In their defense, they both do some excellent history programming; however, I still think they could do more of it and leave the nature stuff to the folks over at the aquarium.
Yesterday, I was in New Bern primarily to talk to an adult education class that is studying the Civil War in New Bern. My friend Bill Hand teaches the class and asked me to come speak about the Confederate Navy in NC and the expedition against the USS Underwriter. While I was in New Bern, I took the opportunity to visit friends at Tryon Palace. All in all, I've had two lovely days this week.