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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Young NC expats sometimes ask me for advice about moving back to NC so that they can “make a difference in their home state”. They all want to move to Durham. I tell them that’s the last place to move to if you want to make a difference because so many other young people beat them to it. I recommend Rocky Mount, Burlington, Morganton, and Waynesville. Where would you recommend?

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author

Those are all great starts. I mean, maybe the playbook is to do what Anderson Clayton did, which is go back to her hometown of Roxboro, where she has roots and understands the people and try and make a difference in a way that fits the place? My experience in West Virginia taught me that well-meaning outsiders have a deservedly high hill to climb before they can earn the trust of people who want to "make a difference," and that most of the work is to simply listen and understand.

I have a few places in my head, but Roanoke Rapids always sticks out. I spent a little time there in early 2021 for a project. I went on a few runs around town. The old high school is gorgeous. The Roanoke Canal trails are great. The location right off of I-95 gives it some potential. There's a big theater! But, things could be better, as they could always be in a lot of places, and it would take a lot of understanding, listening, and research to figure out what people need, what they want, and what would, honestly, give them a reason to stay. That's extremely hard to do.

I'm just rambling here, but this makes me think of the Chef and the Farmer in Kinston. When Vivian Howard came in to open a big-time restaurant in a small town, she made a bunch of fancy New York dishes that didn't connect with anyone, and she struggled. It was only after she made a great version of an familiar dish--blueberry BBQ chicken--that people started to understand how good she and the restaurant were.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

You should write piece on Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County - it’s beautiful and wild out there… lots of stories from locals that go back generations.

On a separate note, do you have any plans for another story/follow up on Rodanthe?

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I haven't been to Mattamuskeet and really want to go... Although I *did* do a YouTube video about Pocosin Lakes before I left Our State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lc-yoyu_Pw

Also, I have a Rodanthe-adjacent story reported out, but haven't had the time to sit down and write it/revise it yet. Hoping it'll be up in a few weeks!

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

You have to live in one of NC's main military towns, Fayetteville (Army), Jacksonville (Marines) or Goldsboro (Air Force). Which one, and why?

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I'm choosing Goldsboro because I've been there the most, I like the downtown there, and Wilber's is right there.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Yeah, Wiber's is what kept me going when I was stationed there in the late 70s. I grew up in Fayettenam, so that's a hard pass, and J-ville? Well, it makes Fayetteville look like Shangri-la.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Have you seen “the legs” in Henderson?

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author

Not in person, but it’s on my future Rabbit Hole road trip list.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Not sure if my question made it.... Underated weekend trips in NC?

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

What’s your Waffle House order

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author

All-Star Special with eggs, hash browns, sausage. I (ducks behind desk) don't like grits!

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

And how do you take your hash browns?

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author

Scattered and smothered.

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👌👌👌

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Jul 15, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Seems to me that any trip down the NC Rabbit Hole should include exploring Black Mountain College.

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author

There are a bunch of places that the late great Philip Gerard got to before me, and Black Mountain is one. https://www.ourstate.com/learning-the-black-mountain-way/

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I agree it might be difficult to say much that is new about the -history- of Black Mountain College (other than possibly in book-length form). But I think some of the buildings designed and built by the college are still standing, and that some other artifacts are still around. I know I'd be interested in reading about what remains of BMC today. (But then, I am admittedly a little obsessed...)

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

I love to read up on linguistics (channeling my inner English major). Last night I was re-reading a Wikipedia page and it’s reference pages about Appalachian English—growing up in Wilkes and Watauga counties, I certainly recognized my hometown dialect and many words with which I grew up.

So, Jeremy—in your travels around the state, what regional-specific words caught your ear and where?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_English

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author

"WILT-suhn" for Wilson is a good way to figure out if someone's local or not. I also love it when people talking about "mashing" something instead of "pressing" it. Like a button.

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Jul 15, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

How about "I'm fixin' to mash that button directly" (pronounced "DIE-rectly", of course)?

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Henna-sin for Henderson!

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Would you rather live in Tick Bite or Bat Cave?

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author

Bat Cave. I’m a mountain guy and it’s close to Asheville and Lake Lure. Tick Bite is unfortunately very flood prone.

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Jul 15, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Do you attend church on Sunday? If so which church/denomination do you attend?

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author

I do. I've been going to United Methodist churches my whole life, but recently we've been looking around at some new places.

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The Catholic Church may be worth a look. We love our church!

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Have you considered doing a story on some of the secret squirrel places in NC? some ideas to start with.

…..Johnston County Airport (you could get people to talk)

….Harvey Point (won’t likely get people to talk, which should get your blood flowing as a journalist)

Aberdeen, NC SERE School (they have been trained, by definition, not to talk).

….Pinehurst Area (as it relates to Robin Sage…people will talk)

….if they’re truly secret squirrel, I don’t know about them, but they’re out there.

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author

You had me at secret squirrel.

The closest (so far) is maybe the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport? https://www.ncrabbithole.com/p/laurinburg-maxton-airport-boneyard-nc

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Did you make it to Z on your A-Z album relisten a few years back?

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author

Yes! It took about a year and three months and we had a long slog through some really terrible 70's soft rock, but we made it.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Did you go down the Rabbit Hole asking the loyal to ask you anything?

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author

This is a meta question but I was trying to think of stories that are tiny and haven't shown up in podcasts/video/writing. I did think about asking people about their best mundane Ric Flair encounters from his time in Charlotte. Maybe I still will! In my opinion, the best user-generated story I've done here is "An atlas of North Carolina's best places for an ass-whuppin'" https://www.ncrabbithole.com/p/an-atlas-of-north-carolinas-best

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Most underated weekend spot in NC?

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I have been trying to get back to Bryson City for a long time. There's not a TON to do there (it's very much not Gatlinburg!), but it's on the chill side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and I want to get a cabin there so I chill in a good environment but be close to other Western North Carolina stuff. Also have a day trip to Elkin planned.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Best hole in the wall for : burgers, tacos, breakfast?

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author

Hate doing this because I'm bad at superlatives, but I used to frequent Taqueria Mexico on South Blvd. quite a bit when I lived in Charlotte for authentic tacos. Breakfast: I really remember Peter's Pancakes and Waffles in Cherokee as a great place with good food overlooking the river. As for Burgers, Beach House Burgers in Carolina Beach is pretty fantastic.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

What is the official pronunciation of North Carolinian? Is it ‘leen-ian’ or ‘lin-ian’? This is hotly contested in our household! Thanks!

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author

I say "lin-ian," but take that with a grain of salt. Years ago I said "app-uh-LAY-shun" on a podcast and got mercilessly dragged over it. FWIW here's a great NC pronunciation guide that doesn't include "Carolinian," unfortunately: https://library.unc.edu/wilson/ncc/talk-like-a-tar-heel/

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

What are your top 5 luxury resorts/hotels in NC, ranked?

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This is tough because mostly I ended up staying at Hampton Inns during my North Carolina road trips (and I LOVE a hotel breakfast waffle). But! Since you're twisting my arm, I'll rank them based on places that I've actually STAYED IN (and this might be my entire list, so):

1. Old Edwards Inn

2. Pinehurst

3. The Durham Hotel

4. Grove Park

5. Fearrington

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Check out the Sanderling Inn in Duck NC

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founding

Agree with all but Grove Park, based on our last (and only) stay there last December. It's gotten a little long in the tooth, the service doesn't live up to the prices, and the food was just ok (again, not worth the cost, IMHO). Fearrington, on the other hand, is *chef's kiss*

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Jul 14, 2023·edited Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

How does one get to write for OUR STATE magazine? Do they accept freelance writers?

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author

That's a tough question, but here's the short version: Our State, more than any other place I know, does outreach to a trusted stable of freelancers and relies on editors who know of other writers that they can match up with specific stories or topics. Or: They PITCH WRITERS on stories as opposed to relying on pitches FROM writers. I started writing for them because they saw something I wrote for Charlotte magazine a long time ago and they pitched ME on writing a story for them about trains. So, my less-than-straightforward advice is to start writing in other places, build up a portfolio, network, and figure out what stories might work well with some of the themed-issues that they have planned out 4-12 months from now. Then, reach out. Actual results may vary!

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Comparing accents:

someone from LA (lower Alamance) vs. someone from Randolph county. Which accent is harder to understand??

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author

So, basically, you're comparing Richard Petty-style speak to someone in Snow Camp? I'd go with LA.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

lol yep.

i'm from snow camp, so i'm partial of course.

and i know south boston isn't nc, but don't get me started on the Ward Burton School of Speechin'...

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

If someone only had time for a day trip to check out one part of the MST you covered in Away Message, what were your favorite parts to explore in Western / Central / Eastern NC?

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Day trip wise: I'd try Clingman's Dome/Elkin area and Carter Falls out west, the Hillsborough Riverwalk/Occoneechee Speedway in the central, and the Neusiok Trail in the east. They're not all necessarily the most rugged, but are all interesting in their own way.

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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

Thanks! We’ve done that short Clingman’s walk from the parking lot as a morning stop on our way to Pigeon Forge but never really hung out : explored that far west. That podcast was such an invaluable intro to the trail and the state.

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When you go to a (new to you) place in NC, how do you like to get to know/discover that place?

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I really don't like to show up with a highly-detailed agenda. I like slipping into town unannounced, walking around, watching how people interact with that place, listening to conversations, etc. I find that having a guided tour tends to hit the highlights without grasping the nuances of what makes a place or people tick. When I do end up talking to important folks, I really try to drill down on economics at some point, since business and money decisions are the real drivers of almost everything. i.e. I met a craft moonshiner who started the business because planting row crops didn't bring in as much money as refining corn into liquor, but it wasn't lucrative enough to live off of, and he was hoping to have a business that would be something he could give to his son. That's more real than just talking about nostalgia around moonshine.

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Jul 23, 2023Liked by Jeremy Markovich

What do you think of the Boone area?

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Amen to nostalgia and moonshine. Thank you! How did you find the moonshiner?

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author

Well, Jeremy Norris and Broadslab are pretty popular around JoCo. The trick was to ask him how the business worked instead of only focusing on nostalgia.

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That makes sense! My guess is your power of asking great questions came in handy in that conversation.

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I am struggling writing a book on old stories about my family I witness or heard about , putting them into a book! I need help putting this together ! I am about half way through ! Can you lead me in the right direction ! It would make a heck of a book and movie in my opinion! Thanks

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I would like a physical copy sent to my home address. How do I do that?

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We're heading off to Topsail for our (50th annual) family beach trip. Ever thought about writing about Operation Bumblebee and the origins of the sleepy island?

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author

I haven't written about Operation Bumblebee but I edited this Kevin Maurer story about it when I was at Our State: https://www.ourstate.com/top-secret-topsail/

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Which version do you go with on the Tar Heel State: colonial naval stores or Civil War?

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