January 1, 2021
Well, it’s been a rough year. But I don’t need to tell you that. And it’s not like there’s a reset button pushed now that the calendar has rolled into 2021. Things are never going to be the same, but we have to hope they’ll get better.
I took over as Coast editor last year during preparation for the March issue. Though based in Norfolk, I had lived and worked on the Outer Banks for a spell, so the area is familiar territory. Then the pandemic hit and the whole world upended. The barrier island closed to visitors for nearly two months, and I wondered how we’d be able to produce this publication – from afar – when so much of what we’d normally cover or highlight was shut down and struggling.
I leaned on veteran writers John Harper, Scott Sechman and Mary Ellen Riddle, who pivoted so gracefully and never failed to turn over interesting stories and columns. Correspondent Dave Fairbank, already tapped as our local editor, helped keep the story copy moving and provided a needed connection to the beach.
Writers Amy Gaw, Maggie Miles, Carrie Brothers, Jessica Taylor, James Charlet and Phil Houseal helped fill our pages with bigger idea pieces as well as small bites and regular columns. And when stay-at-home recommendations lingered, Megan Scott and Sam Harriss tempted readers with food and cocktail recipes, while photographers Sean Ballentine and Lori Douglas provided visual appeal to cover stories.
We even ran a weekly coloring page over the summer and created a spotlight section for reader-submitted photos.
In short, we made it happen.
I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions – not really. But my goal, my mission is to continue providing the kinds of stories that appeal to locals and visitors alike. But just like I needed a village to help keep the Coast train on the tracks in 2020, I need you, dear reader, to stoke our inspiration to keep it chugging along in 2021. Got an interesting story tip? Let us know. We’re here to listen.
– Victoria Bourne, editor