PR for People Monthly September 2017 - Page 30

I sincerely hope we found a balance, much like we are trying to find a careful compromise in our community life as we welcome new residents and a growing number of visitors while more and more of the native islanders move inland for education and careers. We are definitely in an evolving time in our history and I believe the book reflects that in subtle ways.

Faktorovich: One of the great things about your book are the illustrations, photographs, and other visuals that start with the title and cover pages and fill most of the book. The copyrights page gives credit to several designers, setters, a cover photographer, an interior image photographer, and a map creator. How did you work with so many creative people? Did you have direct contact with them? Did you provide specific directions regarding the people or places you wanted photographed? Did one of you go on research trips with these artists, so they could capture the people you might have been interviewing? Were the images created after you finished writing, as you were writing, or before you started? The images flow very naturally with the text, so I am curious how you achieved this.

Garrity-Blake: This is Karen’s forte and I’ll let her answer this! I’ll add that some of the photos I took while doing research along the coast. None were taken after the book was written.

Amspacher: So glad you asked this question!

Barbara and I are surrounded by talented writers, photographers and thinkers; that is one of the many attributes of this place and we were determined to include as many voices as possible because this is “their” story too.

The designer of the book was UNC Press who worked with my ideas. Even though I am not a graphic artist, I can “see things” on paper before it is written. That is what inspires me to find the words that work with images to illustrate a point or tell a story. I took the lead on the photos, both the history images and the current photos, and the possibilities were endless. I work with many of these photographers on a regular basis and so I was familiar with their inventory and called on specific images from key people. With the exception of the aerials, all this photography had been taken long before I called on the photographers for images to accompany the text. Our map designer was actually from Iowa and had been a contractor for the Byway, so she had the graphics already created and approved, so those were adapted for this book.

The aerial photography by Baxter Miller was a vision I had when crossing the Bonner Bridge several years ago. What landscape can even compare with what people see when crossing that high-rise bridge? Baxter was THE person for that task since her ancestors came from Hatteras Island and she is very much a talented writer, graphic artist and photographer. It was the perfect combination, so I rented a helicopter and up she went. We could do an entire book on what she shot in those few hours—amazing landscapes of marsh, ocean, sound and open water!

Faktorovich: In my review of your book, I included this quote: “Young folks growing up in the era of school consolidation were often teased for their brogue by students from larger mainland communities, causing the island children to realize for the first time they did talk different.” (61). Did either of you have difficulties being accepted into mainland culture because of your brogue or accent? Can you describe a specific example of teasing you experienced? Can you explain the value unique language variants have as opposed to linguistic assimilation from an anthropological standpoint? Other than somebody’s pride in one’s heritage, what else is lost when local cultures are teased out of unique linguistic features? You guys use some brogue in your own linguistic style in the book. Are variants like “talk different” simply natural to your lexicon, or did you intentionally introduce local linguistics to explain the culture in the text itself.

Garrity-Blake: Again, I can’t claim the mantle of being a native nor speaking with a brogue. In anthropology we learn that language is a window into culture and how people speak reflects how they perceive the world. Every language that is declared extinct saddens me beyond measure, because really, a whole world is lost. I love listening to the coastal brogue, and I love the maritime metaphors and phrases. One day all traces may be gone, and I’ll bet that will go hand in hand with the extinction of fishing, boat building, vessel piloting and so on.

Amspacher: I am the one that “talks different” and I am very proud of that even though that has not always been the case. I was born in 1955 and raised on Harkers Island, so when I started school in 1961 we all talked the same except for the occasional “preacher’s kid” who moved in and out of our class. At that point, it was no big deal. I don’t even remember anyone mentioning how we talked.

When I went to the consolidated high school (1968), the “way we talked” was the identifying factor that segregated the Down East students from the mainland (Beaufort area) students, and it was quite unsettling. From day one, we were “made fun of” in a very condescending way. I will always remember my math teacher that first year who was from Harkers Island and how comforting hearing him talk was when he introduced himself to the class and ended his explanation with “and I’m from Harkers Island too-l,” emphasizing that twist on the “too.”