November 5, 2014


Author-historian Kevin Duffus talks about lighthouses
and pirates on 'To the Point'...WITH AUDIO


By IRENE NOLAN

Author-historian Kevin Duffus of Raleigh, who has had a life-long fascination with North Carolina's maritime history, was the guest on Sunday, Nov. 2, on the new Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point."

"To the Point," which is hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan, airs on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 and FM 99.9, at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month.  It is repeated on the second and fourth Sunday.

Duffus has produced four award-winning documentaries and is the author of four books -- "Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks: An Illustrated Guide," "The Lost Light: A Civil War Mystery," "The Last Days of Blackbeard the Pirate," and "War Zone: World War II off the North Carolina Coast."

He was named North Carolina's Historian of the Year by the North Carolina Society of Historians last month.  

In the interview, he talks about his passion not just for maritime history but also for solving historical mysteries, separating myth from reality, and introducing readers to the real-life men and women who made history.

Duffus discusses how his search for the original Fresnel lens that was removed from the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at the beginning of the Civil War took him all over eastern North Carolina, to Washington, D.C. to search through archives, and finally to musty shelves in National Park Service headquarters in Manteo.

How and where he found the iconic first-order lens, custom-made in Paris, will surprise you.

Another subject that Duffus discusses at length in the interview is the research he did for his book on Blackbeard.

"Pirates are people, too," he is fond of saying.  And, in the interview and the book, you will learn that the world's most infamous pirate was not at all the man you thought he was from legends, books, and movies.

Blackbeard's real treasure, Duffus says, was not gold.  It was African slaves, and he has recently added two chapters to his book on Blackbeard on that subject and on the topic of the African-American pirates.

"To the Point," which is hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan, airs on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 and FM 99.9, at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month.  It is repeated on the second and fourth Sunday.

You can find out more about Duffus and his books at his website, www.thelostlight.com.

Go to the end of this article to listen to the 50-minute interview.


MORE ABOUT 'TO THE POINT'

On the show, IFP editor Irene Nolan will be interviewing newsmakers about the events and issues that affect all of us who live on Hatteras Island and those of us who love to visit here.

"You can expect to hear from folks who are making the news, those who are decision-makers, and some who are just plain interesting to talk to about the island and its past, present, and future," she says.

Because the station's all-volunteer staff and small budget are stretched tight, the show is pre-recorded.  At this point, listeners cannot call in questions.

Also, the station can be received only on Hatteras Island, though the board of directors of the community, non-profit hopes that funds can be raised soon for online streaming of the programming.

For now, the audio will be posted the week after the interview so Island Free Press readers who missed the show or who do not live on Hatteras can listen in.

You can let Nolan know about folks you would like her to interview and suggest questions to ask.  Send your ideas to [email protected].


MORE ABOUT RADIO HATTERAS

Radio Hatteras is our community, non-profit radio station and depends on grants, memberships, and underwriting.

It broadcasts around the clock with news -- including such things as surfing and fishing reports -- community announcements, music, and special programs.

Our community radio station also needs your support, and you can give that by purchasing a membership or by underwriting the station if you are a business or another community non-profit.

Radio Hatteras memberships are $50 for a family, $25 for an individual and $10 for a student. Mail memberships and other contributions to Radio Hatteras, P.O. Box 339, Frisco, NC 27936.

E-mail [email protected] or call (252) 995-6000 for information about underwriting opportunities.

You can read more about Radio Hatteras and its music and programs on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/radiohatteras.

The new Radio Hatteras website is http://www.radiohatteras.org. There’s information on memberships, underwriting, and programming, among other things.

Radio Hatteras wants to publicize community events.  You can send them at least two weeks in advance to [email protected].

If you have a special request for a song, you can e-mail it to [email protected].

If you have news, you can send it to [email protected].


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