Category Archives: ENTERTAINMENT

Politically Un-Correct Hits the Mark!

Story and Photos by Terry Leigh McCune

This year’s annual Goose Creek Island Homecoming Play is a hilarious musical romp through our current political climate.

pic-1Ronald Rump and Mallory Clayton are running for the office of the Leader of Goose Creek Island.




Rump wants to build a barrier on the bridge to limit undesirables. Mallory wants unlimited access to the island, even stating she would like to build a shoreline condo complex to cater to international clients.




There are senior citizens robbing banks and men dressed as women coming out of the new “Transformers” bathroom!





From Rump being serenaded with “You’re So Vain” to Secret Service men dancing to “Men in Black”. There is even a beauty contest that has an interesting outcome! This play is great entertainment for all. Don’t miss it!





The performances are October 20th, 21st, and 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at the Goose Creek Island Community Center in Hobucken, NC.


Adults – $6.00, 6-12 years – $4.00, under 6 – free. Come early for supper at 6:00 p.m. Hot Dogs, Chili Boats, Baked Goods, Popcorn and Drinks.

County Opry: Community treasure

But making ends meet difficult

By Ed and Beverly Terry | Special to the County Compass
Open Friday and Saturday nights, the County Opry is on Highway 55, approximately one mile west of the stoplight in Grantsboro.

Open Friday and Saturday nights, the County Opry is on Highway 55, approximately one mile west of the stoplight in Grantsboro.

GRANTSBORO — Some time back I wrote a response to Wal-Mart moving to Pamlico County.  In the writing, I mentioned that I shop almost exclusively in the County and support local small business.  I received many positive comments.

Now let me comment on my small business, The County Opry.  My wife and I have operated the Opry for almost nine years and in that time we have never made a financial profit. We have made many friends that we hold dear, but every month we go into our pockets to keep the Opry open.

We have supported numerous benefits for many worthy causes.  We have helped raise money for creditable causes. We even hosted a gathering for the County Compass newspaper to express our support. 

Our band has played at many community functions free of charge and provided sound equipment for benefits and community gatherings. The band plays Saturday night for little more than expense money and many people give of their time to help out.

We have a very loyal group of friends, some of who drive a great distance (Kinston and Washington) every Saturday night! Imagine if those businesses we support so faithfully would just once in a while gather a group of friends and come enjoy an evening of music and fellowship at the Opry?  

We might be able to keep our little business going for the community!

What if this paper might mention in an article what the Opry is and does?  There are still many people who have no idea that we even exist and some still think we are a “honky tonk.”  The County Opry is a family oriented gathering place, not a joint.

I dare say there has not been a business in the county that has lasted so long without making any profits. I doubt there are many communities that have such a gathering place as ours, with so many good people enjoying a wholesome fellowship.

So where is the community support?  I don’t know! We will continue as long as we can to keep the doors open and we will continue to support the Pamlico County small businesses.

  Ed and Beverly Terry

Wizards, witches and wondrous film-making techniques

By Penny Zibula | Staff Writer
Harry Potter & Hogwarts Castle. (Photo credit: Simon Lock)

Harry Potter & Hogwarts Castle. (Photo credit: Simon Lock)

LEAVESDEN, ENGLAND – For those who still retain a sense of wonder, a day of fantasy, fun and fascinating facts awaits you, approximately 22 miles northwest of central London.

The Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour offers the opportunity to step into the magical world of the eight films based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and to explore the wizardry that made them such a huge success.

When you enter the clean, modern building that houses the films’ two sound stages, J and K, you might wonder if you’re in the right place. But once you find yourself standing in the Great Hall, all your doubts disappear.

The sets, props, costumes, models, structures and techniques that brought Rowling’s story and characters to life seem limitless. Here are a very few highlights to start a “MUST DO” potion brewing in your mind.

  • •Let’s begin with the Great Hall, where pivotal events occurred over pumpkin juice breakfasts and celebratory feasts. Since all the furniture was new, extras who helped populate Hogwarts were encouraged to perpetrate mild forms of vandalism, such as writing their names on the tables, and otherwise leaving their mark in order to create a typical boarding school dining room atmosphere.
The ‘Harry Potter’ movies were filmed at this studio near London.  (Photo credit: Simon Lock)

The ‘Harry Potter’ movies were filmed at this studio near London. (Photo credit: Simon Lock)

Remember those beautiful floating candles that hovered above the tables? Well, they were originally real candles suspended by wires. The wires were digitally removed to give the illusion that they were up there on their own. This clever technique only lasted through the first film, because heat from the flames occasionally burned through the wires, causing candles to fall onto tables. As a result, floating candles were created digitally for all subsequent films.

  • •Professor Snape’s potions classroom enlisted the magic of the set designers in order to make it grow larger as filming of the “eight Harry Potter” movies progressed. Expansion of the set was necessary to accommodate hundreds of extras. There were 500 hand-labeled glass bottles filled with all sorts of strange items. There was everything, from hairballs to guts and/or bones from helpful butchers.
  • •Diagon Alley, where Harry began his wizarding adventures in earnest, is a cobblestone street lined with facades; the apothecary, an ice cream shop, the Leaky Cauldron Pub, Ollivander’s, where Harry’s wand chose him, and other familiar venues.

    Ollivander’s contained 17,000 wand boxes, each hand-labeled and decorated. Of those, 3,000 wands were actually used during the filming, and each was designed to match the personality of its bearer.

  • •The game of Quiddich played an important role in the films. Unfortunately, as much as some of us would love to climb onto a broom and take off into the sky in pursuit of the golden snitch, it simply can’t be done. Unless, of course, you are a special effects genius. The Quiddich players mounted their brooms and performed their actions in front of a green screen. In post-production, the visual-effects team would replace the original background with the appropriate digital-backdrop.

There is much more to see and enjoy, but the most breath-taking highlight has been saved for last. In a giant room stands a 30-foot tall detailed model of Hogwarts Castle, which was used for those magnificent sweeping shots. It took 86 artists seven months to construct this magnificent tribute to Rowling’s fertile imagination. The castle’s windows were lit by 399 tiny fiber-optic lights, which were used for night scenes. The castle itself is made of fiberglass and driftwood, but the gravel and plants used for the landscape are real.

The Harry Potter Studio Tour is one of those tourist attractions that draws you in from the start, and doesn’t let go until you stumble, exhausted, but smiling, through the exit. The amount of talent, passion and commitment is visible everywhere you go. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime gift to your children, grandchildren and/or yourself.

For information about the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour, visit

E-mail Penny Zibula at, or through her travel blog at

Carteret adopts tough wind energy law

County’s stance similar to Town of Newport’s

By John Droz Jr. | Special to the County Compass

wind-farmCARTERET COUNTY — When the Mill Pond wind energy project was first publicly announced in October of 2013, our main objective was to see that the two affected North Carolina communities had wind ordinances providing adequate protections to: Citizens, local businesses, the military, and the environment.

Wednesday night’s meeting of the Carteret County Commission was the successful conclusion for months of hard work by a lot of good people — as the second of those jurisdictions (following Newport last week) unanimously passed a high quality wind ordinance.

The county’s citizen-friendly law is based on scientific evidence and legal precedents, and includes the following provisions:

  1. Turbine to property line setbacks of one mile;
  2. Low amount of turbine noise allowed (particularly infrasound: 35 dBA);
  3. A maximum turbine height limit of 275 feet;
  4. A quality Property Value Guarantee;
  5. An Escrow Account (the developer will pay the County’s project-related administrative costs, thru-out the life of the project);
  6. Terms and conditions for decommissioning (including a surety bond of $200,000 per turbine);
  7. The developer will indemnify the County for any lawsuit related to the wind development; and
  8. The developer must have an adequate liability insurance policy.

These protections came about because of the MANY dedicated citizens who took time out of their busy lives to research this matter, attend meetings, write their representatives, etc. THANK YOU!

The system worked very well here because the County commissioners were not only listening to their constituents, but they were genuinely interested in proving adequate protections to the community. They kept their eye on the ball, and did not get distracted by specious enticements. KUDOS TO THEM!

In response to three Sierra Club speakers (two non-county residents) who said that this ordinance was “extreme,” Chairman Jonathan Robinson said there was no extreme when it comes to protecting the health of county citizens, county businesses, and local military. Additionally, he said he was prouder of the Commissioners’ actions in this matter than anything else he had been involved with as a commissioner for over 15 years!

Carteret Commissioners ban wind energy permits for 60 days

By John Droz Jr. | Special to the County Compass
Opponents of a proposed wind energy project outnumbered supporters during a ‘jam packed’ Jan. 2 public hearing at the Civic Center.

Opponents of a proposed wind energy project outnumbered supporters during a ‘jam packed’ Jan. 2 public hearing at the Civic Center.

Editor’s note: John Droz, a Morehead City resident, writes extensively on wind energy issues. He is a frequent contributor to The County Compass. Readers may reach him by e-mail: Mr. Droz attended a Jan. 2 public hearing at which the Carteret County Commissioners approved a temporary moratorium on the issuance of permits for a proposed wind energy facility.

MOREHEAD CITY — Some were concerned about how many people would show up on a poor weather night, in the holiday season, with the flu being prevalent. The answer: The Civic Center was jam packed.

Approximately 60 citizens spoke (each was allowed three minutes, which amounted to three hours). About 20 of those supported the Mill Pond wind energy project, and 40-plus opposed it. Many opponents cited our science-based position (see

Lets look at the main reasons given by the supporters, and a brief reality-check for each:

1 – That the current state wind approval process is good.

Its hard to understand that thinking since this is the first wind project to go through the new state process, governed by state legislation known as House Bill 484. How do they know its good? Simply reading H484 would show that the states process for assessing health impacts is woefully wanting. How is that good?

2 – We should give the state process a chance to work.

What that means is wait until all the approvals have been granted, and then object if we dont like the results. But, of course, at that time it would be too late to do anything!

3 – The Department of Defense banned wind energy in a NC offshore location.

That is a serious misunderstanding, as DOD has no such authority. The federal Bureau of Energy Management banned wind energy in certain offshore areas due to a variety of inputs but that has zero applicability to our onshore case.

4 – Cherry Point is a real part of the approval process.

Yes, Cherry Point is asked for their input. The reality of the current political situation is that their superiors have instructed them not to give any negative answer. No comment is not a true part of a meaningful process.

5 – Any military issue will be satisfactorily mitigated.

Mitigated means make less bad, which is not the same as fixed. Military spokesmen made it very clear that mitigated issues will be a negative score during a Base Realignment And Closing evaluation. It was also pointed out that one possible mitigation would be to close Cherry Point.

6 – We wont lose tourists as some will come to see turbines.

Indeed some tourists come to see something different. So if we built a local prison for terrorists, would these same wind advocates support that facility as a tourist draw?

7 – Wind has issues but it will replace coal, which is worse.

This type of claim is made by people who have no grasp of energy technical realities. North Carolina could have 1,000 turbines and the amount of coal used would not change.

8 – Wind turbines dont kill that many birds and bats.

Cats kill small birds, but no bats or raptors. The fact that these environmentalists so cavalierly ignore huge eagle and bat kills says volumes about their true agenda.

9 – NC is losing out by not jumping on the wind bandwagon.

This thinking reflects a media report that appeared in the paper last week. Elsewhere former commissioner Bettie Bell addressed that nonsense.

10- Wind energy just needs to be properly sited.

What is the proper siting for an energy source that does not make technical, economic or environmental sense? If this were their honest position, they would all be opposed to the absurdly poor siting that Mill Pond represents.

Note that every one of the project supporters main positions is FALSE! That is evidently why they employed a shotgun strategy which means to throw a lot of baloney against the wall and hope something sticks.

Ill give them credit for one success: A much larger percentage of the Mill Pond supporters got up and spoke.

Since many who opposed the project chose not to talk, it gave observers an erroneous impression of how the community is divided on this issue. From the speakers perspective, it appeared to be 33 percent in favor and only 67 percent against

The reality is that among those educated on this matter, about 90 percent are against it. We need to do better next time!

There were many very good comments opposing the wind project, which focused on bullet points available on the website and elsewhere.

After the public comment period ended, the Commissioners voted on the 60-day moratorium, which passed unanimously.  It passed unanimously.

This campaign will be finished when: A) Carteret County has a much better wind law; B) The Town of Newport passes its proposed wind law improvements; and, C) Torch, the wind energy developer behind the Mill Pond project, throws in the towel.


Wetlands dispute escalates

Crowd urged for Monday’s County Commission meeting

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

BAYBORO – The Pamlico County Commissioners will be under the gun Monday night. A growing consortium of county residents want their elected officials to call upon federal regulators to review a recent decision – a determination that much of a recently timbered tract near Merritt is not a wetland and can therefore be converted to farmland.

In a letter dated Oct. 30 (see below), the Chapel Hill-based Environmental Law Center claims the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may have erred in its analysis of hydrology on the site.

Allen Propst, a real estate agent in Oriental, has spearheaded much of the protest and this week released the following statement:

“A large turnout on Monday evening, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Pamlico County Courthouse is our best chance to stop an out of state company from converting wetlands – which impact one of our most important watersheds on the lower Neuse River – into farmlands. The impact of this detrimental conversion of 4,600 acres will be felt for years to come as wildlife (including migratory songbirds) is displaced and the agricultural run-off into our nearby waters that serve as primary nurseries for fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters are destroyed.”

Reached Wednesday afternoon, Propst reiterated his plea for area residents to show up in droves for the Monday night session of the County Commission.

“It’s just a matter of enforcing existing federal law and that is not being done,” he said. “It’s kind of like the Wild Wild West out there, and there ain’t no sheriffs.”


Line-up looks good for April 27 ShockWave Wrestling card


COLOR3Special to the County Compass

HAVELOCK – Left, Kiyhago, born in an African Jungle, is a crowd favorite. He does not speak the local language, and attempts to communicate by patting and stroking his massive stomach. Center, Crazy Horse and many other ShockWave wrestlers are known for their elaborate costumes. Right, Fabulous Frankie Fontaine and his tag team partner always wear pink. Fontaine often pins opponents by launching himself from the ring’s top rope – a violent technique that is almost impossible for a foe to avoid.

Saturday night, April 27, promises to be a big night for ShockWave. The entertainment starts at 7 p.m. in the Havelock Recreation Center, on Highway 101 just a short distance from the main gate of Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. Tickets are $8 ($4 for children) with all proceeds donated to charitable causes. The event is also part of a big launch to promote a May 25 appearance by both Christian York and D.O.C. from Aces & Eights, representing TNA Wrestling Impact. The wrestling superstars will square off in a fundraiser for Xander Pond, age 9, who is suffering from a devastating form of cancer.

For more information about either event, call (252) 745-3155.

Free Friday night party!


give-back-logoStaff Reports

GRANTSBORO – A popular night spot, a band, and a newspaper have joined forces this Friday evening, April 19, to offer a free social event for the area. Everyone is invited.

The gala, labeled the ‘Great American Give-Back,’ features free admission, free popcorn, free soft drinks, a cake cutting, a $100 cash giveaway, and promised ‘celebrity appearances.’ And, the band’s play list for the occasion features tunes intended to appeal to a broad cross-section of the community.

The location is The County Opry, just west of the stoplight on Hwy. 55 in Grantsboro – owned and operated for many years by Ed and Beverly Terry. The band is well known in the area — Jazzomine Rhythm & Blues, led by the husband and wife team of Herb & Myra Blue. The newspaper is The County Compass, directed by publisher Jeff Aydelette.

“We’re hoping for a large turnout this Friday,” explained Aydelette. “The concept is simple. The economy has been bleak over the past few years. The three sponsors got together and decided that we would do something to usher in a little springtime cheer! And, everything is free!”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and organizers estimate that festivities will last until 11 p.m. Although the tunes to be performed by Jazzomine Rhythm & Blues may vary, Myra Blue recently submitted a tentative song list and timetable for the evening:


The talented musicians who comprise the Jazzomine Rhythm & Blues Band, seen here during a rehearsal, are from left: Tommy, Herbie, David, Joe, Myra, and Miss Al.

The talented musicians who comprise the Jazzomine Rhythm & Blues Band, seen here during a rehearsal, are from left: Tommy, Herbie, David, Joe, Myra, and Miss Al.

SET 1:   (7:30 – 8:15)

Coming Home Baby

All of Me

As Time Goes By

Our Day Will Come

Save Room

Blue Bossa

Girl from Ipanema


Satin Doll

Canadian Sunset (watch order of song)

What does it Take

Gone fishin’


Sleep Walk

T-Bone Shuffle


SET 2:   (8:30 – 9:15)

Your Cheatin’ Heart

St. Louis Blues

In the Still of the Night/Heart and Soul/Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye/Silhouette on Shade (Tommie starts)

My Guy

Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool Ya

Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Blues

Oh When the St. Come Marching In

Under the Board Walk

Don’t Lose Your Cool

Sick &Tired

Lady Soul

Hip Swinging Blues (intro guitar and walk down before singing (Inst. Solos Al, Dave)

Last Night

Unchained Melody

Set 3:  (9:30 – until)


Suzie Q (playing guitar line as verse – keep blues feeling not too fast)

Hound Dog

Mustang Sally

Save the Last Dance for Me

Wonderful tonight


Roll out the Barrel

St. Louis Blues

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Island folk bounce back to produce hilarious play


Ladies in the cast pose before their routine. “Crab Potter” feels good and the girls just love him! These old scarecrows could think “if they only had a brain!”

Ladies in the cast pose before their routine. “Crab Potter” feels good and the girls just love him! These old scarecrows could think “if they only had a brain!”

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

GOOSE CREEK ISLAND – This resilient community, put to the test last August by Hurricane Irene, has come together for the 37th time to produce its traditional Homecoming Play: “That’s What I Think.”

To be presented Oct. 18, 19, and 20 at the Community Center in Hobucken, all performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children under 12, and free for youngsters under 6.

In 2011, organizers made the tough decision to cancel the play in deference to hundreds of area citizens who were displaced in the wake of the devastating storm. Experts agree that Pamlico County’s remote northeast corner took perhaps the heaviest hit of any area in the nation affected by Hurricane Irene

This year the cast abounds with both newcomers and veterans: Kaitlyn Belangia, Elaine Benedict, Rebecca Bennett, Taylor Cahoon, Floyd Campen, Martha Campen, Lottie Caroon, Randy Caroon, Ernest Dunn, Mary Clyde Dunn, Kayley Guidry, Loni Guidry, Karin Ham, Wendy Hayes, Holly Ireland, Zachary Jones, Timmy Leary, Lynn Lewis, Linda Lupton, Bernie Mallon, Gary Mayo, Rhonda Mayo, Edna McKinney, Mavis O’Neal, Carson Peed, Rebekah Peed, Josh Potter, Phil Williamson and McKenzie Whitley.

The play is coordinated and directed by Annette Jones and Rhonda Mayo.

Performance to honor Rachel Carson


Mary Carol Simpson 8; Nora Simpson 6; Wendy Osserman (over 66); and, Caroline James, 11, rehearse in Osserman’s studio for the Sept. 9 performance.

Mary Carol Simpson 8; Nora Simpson 6; Wendy Osserman (over 66); and, Caroline James, 11, rehearse in Osserman’s studio for the Sept. 9 performance.

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

PAMLICO COMMUNITY COLLEGE – The Shore at Night is a local production, set for Sunday at 3 p.m., to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring, a 1962 book by Rachel Carson, which is generally acknowledged to have launched the environmental movement in this country.

Tickets can be purchased at the door of the Delamar Center. General admission is $10; children under 12, $5; and all first row seats, $20.

The program is co-sponsored by the Pamlico Community College Foundation. Proceeds will benefit the Pamlico Community College Foundation and the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort.

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson

Wendy Osserman, Artistic Director of New York City-based Wendy Osserman Dance Company, has choreographed and directed this tribute to Carson.

Featured dancer, Emmalie Carawan, is a senior at Pamlico County High School. Supporting dancers are Caroline James, 11, and sisters Mary Carol and Nora Simpson, ages 8 and 6.

The concept as well as music for The Shore At Night is by Douglas Alvord, who will open the program with his composition, UNDERSEA.

Osserman will perform a new solo echoing the theme of the seashore. She will be accompanied by Jane Tigar, who will play a Native American flute made by Charles Littleleaf, a tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon.

Nelda Coats will read excerpts from Carson’s eloquent writing, which will no doubt include her famous quote:

“It seems reasonable to believe that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.”- Rachel Carson