January 1, 2009

What Happend in 2008

Time for the annual year end review. This marks the third retrospective post. 2007 and 2006 were milestone years. 2008 was typified by developing involvement with a number of projects. It was a year of successes and some failure. It is hard to pick a single event in my life that stands out but the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency will make this year stand out in our collective history at a national and perhaps an international level. The latter remains to be seen.
  • I got Certified. I completed the requirements for the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management in the spring. I have learned a lot about how nonprofits operate, particularly about fund raising. This has turned out to be a good decision. The benefits of my expanded knowledge and contacts has already begun to show in my involvement with NPO's
  • Duke comes to KDH The time and expense of traveling to Durham for these classes led me to look into how to bring some Duke classes to the Outer Banks. Long story short I am now the Outer Banks site coordinator. We held 4 very successful class this fall and 5 more are scheduled for the spring. The Outer Banks Community Foundation has provided scholarships and the First Colony and and Penguin Isle have helped as well. Check out obxlearn.org for more info. (cheap plug)
  • No Eure Center yet. Perhaps the most disappointing project has been the attempt to establish the Eure Outer Banks Arts Center. After a struggle we secured a large grant from the Vistors Bureau but the project stalled as we tried find the right structure for the purchase. We have now arranged the purchase and found the money to buy the property but fund raising for operating costs has been slow. It is not clear if this project will work out.
  • CDC moves forward. My role as Chairman of the Outer Banks Community Development Corp. (OBCDC) has been very rewarding. We stumbled a bit early in the year but have now actually started to see families moving into homes. We have 2 major projects about to start construction, both with great chances for success. Several more will come online soon. I don't do the work for the CDC, the staff does but I do hopefully provide some guidance and support. The organization is getting ready to really take off and start delivering what it has been promising for a long time.
  • Key West called. We got to go back to Key West this year. It was a very special trip because we were joined by my sisters and their husbands. We had a great time, except for that episode of seasickness on the trip to the Dry Tortugas (sorry again Ed). No plans yet but I expect that we will try this arrangement again though probably not in Key West again. See the photos at the blog. We also got back to Nashville for the Tin Pan South Songwriters Conference. Lots of great music. As has been our habit we made it to Ocracoke in Sept. and traveled north for Thanksgiving. Not as much travel as last year but we enjoyed it all.
  • Last Blog standing. This site has had its ups and downs over the year. We hit over 200 views on a post this summer, a record and a far cry from the 5o or so of you who are regulars. Beach Access dominated the spring and summer while posting slowed during the campaign and a little of Vice Presidental politics crept in. The demise of Outer Banks Republic, the brief life of Southern Shores Times and the limited posting on Outer Banks Real Estate dropped the number of active local blogs covering politics to about one and a half. Uncle Jack keeps is hand in but his move to Ballmor and his time in Camden Me. limits his perseptive OBX insights. He remains the best writer in our blogosphere though Skip at KYSCoast posts beautiful prose about surfing and biking and living on a barrier island. New father Bill hits topics other than watersports sometimes but his windsurfing posts are so strong you know where his heart is.
  • Barack, Beverly and Kay won. I helped. I was able to play a small role in the election. I helped the Dare County Democratic Party organize the best phone calling effort we have ever mounted. I also did some work for the Campaign for Change. For a few days before the election I helped volunteers in Manteo go door to door for Obama. The most rewarding part of this was seeing the interest and emotion of so many people who chose to take part in the political process. It was good to see so many people decided they needed to take a role in shaping our country's future.
  • I gained weight back. I lost my diet discipline and put back on much of the weight I lost in 2006 and 2007. I have resumed walking with dedication and I am started back in the right direction.
  • The economy. It would be impossible to think about this year without recognizing the effect the eocnomy has had on everyone. High gas prices led me to try to make only one trip in the car each day. Carole and I are very fortunate that the impact on our life was not as severe as it was for so many people. We are insulated from much of the effect and while we suffered in the market the problems are temporary (I hope) and we count our blessings every day.
  • I take pictures. My photography ebbed and flowed with the time spent on other projects. I still managed to get some good photos but didn't spend as much time taking pictures as I did last year. See Flickr for a few of the best shots.
  • Facebook. I joined FB and have had a lot of fun reconnecting and staying in touch with friends.
  • Ubuntu works. Ubuntu is a version of the Linux operarting system. I have been working with it all year. t is great, stable, secure and free. I have gotten a lot more comfortable with it and now have 2 machines that dual boot Windows and Ubuntu. The learning process has be gret fun I
  • Highlights: The ECU-WVU game. First live college football game in ages. Thanks Mike and Willo. Every day I get to see my 4 year old buddy Dylan. Traveling with Carole. She is a wonderful partner and I love her more than I can say. LOBX Marathon in Manteo. I worked on the barricades. They worked the way we planned. Coold deal. Getting to spend time with my sister Elizabeth while she recovered from surgery.
2008 goes in the books as a succesful year on a personal level. The Duke program was a big win and the CDC's progress has been very rewarding. Still it is hard to ignore the massive problems that face our new president and to worry about how they will affect the Outer Banks. The economic impact is already harsh, it is hard to imagine what happens if things get worse. I feel for the local elected officials who are dealing with the shortfalls. It brings into focus just how fortunate I was in my time in office.
Thanks to the faithful readers of this blog. I appreciate that you find something worth reading on these pages. Thanks to my partners at the CDC, the Eure Center, the Duke classes. I did nothing alone. Together we continue to make progress.
I hope your year was successful and that 2009 is even better. Happy New Year.


At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Uncle Jack said...

Happy New Year, Bob. I look forward to reading your blog faithfully again in 2009. You are an inspiration to aspiring bloggers everywhere---even in Bawlmer. Best wishes, Uncle Jack


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