Scott shares stories from some of the state’s most impactful people.

THIS IS US. . >>> AND THE REST IS HISTORY. . >> WELCOME NO THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF THE TARHEEL TRAVELER. I’M SCOTT MASON. OVER THE YEARS, WE HAVE FEATURED INSPIRATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICANS. NORTH CAROLINIANS WHO HAVE CROSSED THE TRACKS AND INSPIRED ALL RACES. WE HONOR THEM AND THEIR REMARKABLE JOURNEY. . >> IT’S ALMOST AS IF JAZZ SINGING CHOSE ME. >> IT SEEMS A NATURAL CHOICE. ALL THE WHILE >> NINA FREELONG NG LOVE A CRAZY GAME >> I THOUGHT OF IT AS AN IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. I WANT TO SING. BUT I CAN’T SING. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYBODY WITH THREE KIDS SINGING. SHE SAID BABY, IF GOD WANTS YOU TO SING. YOU CAN SEE. NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD. BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED. BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED. AND THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED. SHE BEGAN HER CAREER IN DURHAM NINA IS NOW A SIX-TIME GRAMMY NOMINEE WHO TRAVELED THE WORLD. FREE ON NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS BABY CAN YOU HEAR HE NOW? >> DID YOU HAVE A GOOD VOICE AS A KID? >> I HAD A GREAT VOICE AS A KID. >> SHE GREW UP IN THE BOSTON AREA AND SANG A SOLO AT CHURCH. BABY YOU DID SUCH A GOOD JOB. WHEN YOU’RE EIGHT YEARS OLD YOU WANT MORE OF THAT. I DON’T CARE HOW YOU GET IT. ONE PERSON MAKES A DIFFERENCE, ONE HEART THAT TRULY LISTENS AAHHHH >> I THINK WHAT I REALLY LEARNED IS THIS THING IS A JOURNEY. THE FUTURE NONE CAN SEE >> I AM 60 YEARS OLD. AND I’M STILL WONDERING, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I DO THIS? WHEN I GET THAT FEELING >> MY FAME IS VERY LOOSE FITTING. BUT WHATEVER THERE IS OF IT, I WANT TO USE IT FOR GOOD. [ APPLAUSE ] . >> SAM LAYSON IS A MAN OF RHYTHM AND BEAT. A DRUMMER, OH YES HE IS. YES, HE WAS. >> MAN I COULD PLAY MAN. I WAS UNBELIEVABLE MAN. THERE WERE NO MISTAKES. >> JAMES BROWN SAID GO WITH THE DRUMMER. >> YEAH. YEAH JAMES WANT YOU TO AUDITION WITH THE BAND. AND I COULDN’T WAIT. >> SAM THE MAN GOT THE JOB HE WAS JAMES BROWN’S DRUMMER. [ MUSIC ] THE GOD FATHER OF SOUL. >> WHEN JAMES WENT ON STAGE, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? >> POWERFUL MAN. >> THIS WAS IN THE 60s. HOW BIG WAS JAMES BROWN AT THAT POINT? >> THAT WAS HIS BEGINNING POINT, YOU KNOW. [ DRUMMING ] >> SAM’S BEGINNING POINT CAME EARLY. >> I SAW DUKE ELLINGTON, I SAY DIZZY GILLESPIE. ALL THE BIG BANDS. IT’S HOW THIS TOWN WAS, WILSON WAS AGGRATED TOBACCO TOWN. >> WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE DRUMS ? >> RHYTHM. I NEVER WANTED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. >> HE PLAYED WITH BANDS, TRAVELED, ATE. >> PORK CHOPS FRIED. PUT IN SOME BROWN GRAVY AND ONIONS, SMOTHERED. >> JAMES BROWN HEARD ABOUT SAM. WAS EXCITED AND EVERYTHING FELL INTO PLACE. >> OH BABY DON’T YOU WEEP . >> SAM JOINED JAMES BROWN IN 1961 AND LEFT IN 62 BECAUSE OF HEALTH REASONS. AND WIFE REASONS. >> SAM, YOU CAN COME HOME, HELP ME WITH THESE CHILDREN, OR YOU CAN STAY WITH JAMES BROWN. CLICK. HUNG THE PHONE UP. IF YOU DON’T THINK THAT WILL PUT SAND IN YOUR THROAT. [ SCREAMING ]. >> LOOKING BACK, DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS ? DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE PLAYED WITH HIM LONGER? >> NO, NO, NO, JAMES BROWN WASN’T MY FIRST ADVENTURE. >> NOR HIS LAST. >> YEAH, I’M 85 YEARS OLD. >> WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED IN YOUR LIFE? >> BE PATIENT. >> AND PLAY SOME DRUMS EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. >> JUST KEEP PLAYING MAN. . >> DO ANY OF YOUR SELF PORTRAITS HAVE YOU SMILING? [ LAUGHTER ]. >> BEVERLY McCEVER IS SMILING. >> YES. I HAVE SOME PAINTINGS CALLED FINDING PEACE. >> FINDING PEACE AFTER YEARS OF SEARCHING. >> A BIG CHUNK OF MY LIFE HAS BEEN ABOUT NEVER RETURNING TO THE PROJECTS WHERE I GREW UP IN GREENS PORE ROW. >> SHE GREW UP IN A PLACE CALLED MORNING SIDE HOMES. >> IT’S WHERE THE KKK CAME AND SHOT AND KILLED FIVE PEOPLE BACK IN 1979. AND THAT HAPPENED RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR APARTMENT COMPLEX. AND OUR CAR, WHICH IS A LITTLE GREEN PINTO WAS SHOT. >> GET AN AMBULANCE. >> WE DECLARE WAR AGAINST THEM. >> ANY WAY, IT CHANGED OUR LIVES AND IT MADE ME, YOU KNOW, DETERMINED NOT TO RETURN TO THE PROJECTS. >> BEVERLY McCEVER BECAME A CLOWN. >> IT WAS A WAY TO ERASE THE BLACKNESS. ERASE THE POVERTY. ERASE THE HOUSING PROJECTS. >> SHE PUT ON A WHITE FACE AND BLACK FACE. >> ANOTHER DISGUISE. >> SHE AUDITIONED WITH RINGLING BROTHERS. THAT’S HER WAITING IN LINE. >> IT WASN’T ACCEPTED. >> SHE CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT NOW. >> NOW SHE’S A PAINTER WHOSE PORTRAITS ARE INFLUENCED BY A PROMISE. >> I MADE A PROMISE. >> A PROMISE SHE MADE TO HER MOTHER. >> MY MOTHER DIED OF PANCREATIC CANCER. SHE ASKED ME IF I WOULD TAKE CARE OF MY SISTER RENEE WHO IS MENTALLY DISABLED. SHE HAS THE MIND SET OF A SECOND GRADER. I MADE THAT PROMISE WITH THE IDEA THAT I DIDN’T THINK MY MOTHER WAS GOING TO, YOU KNOW, EVER DIE. >> FOR SIX YEARS BEVERLY CARED FOR RENEE. >> SIX YEARS. [ SCREAMING ]. >> IT WAS TOUGH. YOU KNOW, MY WHOLE LIFE BECAME ABOUT WHAT’S GOOD FOR RENEE. SO IT WAS LIFE ALTERING. >> AND CAREER ALTERING. BEVERLY’S ART BECAME ABOUT RENEE. ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED AND SURVIVED. >> PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT MENTALLY DISABLED, YOU KNOW, LIKE MY SISTER WHO LOST HER LEG, OR MY OTHER SISTER WHO JUST WENT THROUGH BREAST CANCER AND HAD RADIATION BURNS AND HOW THEY FIGURED OUT A WAY TO JUST KEEP GOING. >> BEVERLY KEEPS GOING. KEEPS GROWING. >> YEAH. [ LAUGHTER ]. YEAH GROWTH. WOOHOO. >> HER ART IS ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE. IT’S ABOUT COMFORTING THE CAREGIVER. >> I HOPE THAT MY PAINTINGS WILL SAY, YOU KNOW, THAT GOD THIS IS TOUGH. IN THE DAY, I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. I’M GOING TO CHECK OUT AND EAT A BOWL OF CEREAL FOR DINNER. THAT’S ME REBELLING. EATING A BOWL OF CEREAL FOR DINNER. IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T LOVE THEM. I’M PAINTING ABOUT LIFE. LIFE IS DIFFICULT. >> BEVERLY HAS SOMEONE TO HELP CARE FOR RENEE. >> THE GREAT THING ABOUT RENEE IS THAT SHE LOVES ME UNCONDITIONALLY. THAT’S PRETTY COOL. [ LAUGHTER ]. >> BEVERLY HAS ACCEPTED HER SACRIFICE. >> YOU KNOW, OKAY, I’M TOO OLD NOW TO HAVE CHILDREN. YOU KNOW, OR LIKE I FORGOT TO PAY ATTENTION TO GETTING A HUSBAND. >> BUT SHE HAS FULFILLED A PROMISE. BEVERLY McCEVER HAS CHANGED. >> IT’S ABOUT TRANSITIONING. >> IT’S ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. >> AND THERE ARE THREE SELF PORTRAITS. >> THE PORTRAIT OF HERSELF INCLUDES PAIN AND PEACE AND THE PROMISE OF HOPE. >> JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT LIFE OR ME IN LIFE. . >> A LOT OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU PAINT, YOU JUST MEET AT RANDOM? >> YEAH, PRETTY MUCH. >> THE GIRL FROM THE DOLLAR STORE. >> BUT SHE WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL. >> THE ONE FROM THE ART SUPPLY STAR. >> SHE WAS A CASHIER. >> FROM THE ANTIQUE STORE. >> SHE WAS WORKING IN THE STORE. >> HE WENT TO THE STORE TO BUY THE FRAME AND ALSO FOUND A SUBJECT. >> I HAVE A HIGH ARM FOR PEOPLE. I LOVE PEOPLE. >> I THOUGHT MY GOSH, THAT’S BEAUTIFUL. >> BEAUTIFUL FROM THE ACCIDENTAL. >> A LOT OF PEOPLE COME UP ACCIDENTALLY. >> BUT ART WAS NEVER AN ACCIDENT FOR MIKE BENNETT. >> I SAID I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO. I WANT TO BE AN ARTIST. >> HIS STUDIO IN HAMILTON, MARTIN COUNTY, NOT FAR FROM OAK CITY, HE’S PAINTED MURALS TOO. >> I WAS HONORED TO DO IT BECAUSE I WENT TO SCHOOL IN OAK CITY. >> BUT HE IS SELF-TAUGHT. >> I LOVE REDHEADS BECAUSE I LOVE THEIR HAIR COLOR. I JUST POUR MY HEART INTO WHAT I’M DOING. >> THE VAST ARRAY OF WHAT HE’S DOING. >> THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN’T DO IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT. >> A PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF. >> HAD YOU PRETTY MUCH HIT BOTTOM? >> OH YES, LOST HOME, MARRIAGES, I STRUGGLED AND BATTLED WITH DRUGS AND ALCOHOL FOR YEARS, BUT THE LORD HAS DELIVERED ME FROM THAT AND IT TOOK A LOT. WHEN HE GAVE ME AN ABILITY TO PAINT, THAT’S WHAT KEPT ME SOBER. >> A SOBERING SUBJECT. >> AND I PAINTED THIS PICTURE OF A CLANS MAN KISSING A BLACK BABY, I COULDN’T SHOW ANYBODY BUT IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL PIECE. AND I WANT TO SEE PEOPLE COME TOGETHER AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. THAT’S WHY I DID THAT. THE WOMAN IN THE CAR SHE PUT ON THE HOOD AND SAT IN THE CAR. AND JUST THE LIGHT. I KNEW THAT WAS A GOOD PORTRAIT. >> THE GIRL FROM THE AUTO PART STORE. >> TO ME I SEE INNOCENCE. >> OH YEAH, QUIETNESS. >> REFLECTIVENESS. YOU HAVE TO BE A GOOD PERSON TO YOURSELF TO BE GOOD TO OTHERS. I’M 62 YEARS OLD. AND THIS IS MY LAST GO AROUND, YOU KNOW, NOT HAVING ANOTHER CHANCE. I’M EXCITED WHAT I’M GOING TO DO WITH ART AND MY LIFE, I’VE GOT TO DO IT NOW. GOD HAS BEEN TREMENDOUSLY GOOD IN MY LIFE. JUST TO BE FREE AND WORK NOW. >> ORDER TARHEEL TRAVELER BOOKS AT THETARHEELTRAVELER.COM. BOOKS THAT CELEBRATE THE STATE. COPIES AUTOGRAPHED AND LIFT OFF OF THE 25th SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION. AND IT’S CLEARED THE TOWER. >> FREQUENTLY, WHEN YOU DIE YOUNG, PEOPLE WILL GO FORWARD WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN LIFE. >> RON MCNAIR’S LIFE LED HIM TO NORTH CAROLINA ANT. >> YOU MIGHT SAY HE WAS PLAYFUL, PRANKISH. >> HE WAS THAT KIND OF GUY. WHEN HE DID THINGS. HE DID IT TO THE MAX. >> HE DID KARATE. >> HE GOT FIVE CONCRETE SLABS AND BROKE THEM WITH HIS FOREHEAD. I SAID THAT’S CRAZY. YOU SHOULDN’T BREAK ANYTHING WITH YOUR HEAD. HE LAUGHED AND SAID THAT’S THE ONLY WAY I COULD WIN FIRST PLACE. RON HAD THAT KIND OF TRADITION. HE TOOK A KARATE DOJO BADGE ON THAT FLIGHT WITH HIM. >> THAT FLIGHT, JANUARY 1986. >> AND MY SECRETARY SAID MACK YOU MUST FEEL REALLY BAD. I SAID FOR WHAT? YOUR FRIEND DIED. I SAID MY FRIEND DIED? >> A STUDENT RAN INTO MY OFFICE AND SAID THE SPACE SHUTTLE BLEW UP. I WAS HAVING ALL OF THOSE FLASH BACKS, YOU KNOW, RON WOULDN’T GO DOWN LIKE THAT. >> A MAJOR MALFUNCTION. >> I WAS NUMB. A DAY YOU’LL NEVER FORGET. >> RON MCNAIR WAS 35 YEARS OLD. HE HAD HAD A WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN. >> HE HAD BECOME AN ASTRONAUT WHICH WAS SOMETHING HE WANTED TO DO. THAT MADE A LOT OF US FEEL LIKE OH MY GOODNESS, HE’S DONE SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL. >> BECAUSE EVERYTHING HE DID HE PUT HIS BEST FOOT FORWARD. AND HE WAS NOT A QUITTER. >> NEVER QUIT. NEVER GIVE UP. BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT. HE WENT FAST FORWARD. >> PERPETUAL MOTION, IN MANY WAYS, THAT WAS THE ARK OF HIS LIFE. AND THE LEGACY OF HIS LIFE, THE INSPIRATION HE LEFT BEHIND. >> HE’S MADE A DIFFERENCE EVEN IN HIS DEATH. >> TODAY IS A DAY FOR MOURNING AND REMEMBERING. >> PERHAPS THAT WAS THE TIME GOD RENDERED HIM MORTAL. >> THIS IS TRULY A NATIONAL LOSS. >> IN ORDER TO HAVE A DREAM COME TRUE YOU MUST FIRST HAVE ONE. AND RON HAD BIG DREAMS. MANY, MANY OF THEM. >> LIFT OFF OF THE 25th SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION. AND I’M FEELING GOOD . >> I THINK THE WORLD HAD NOT SEEN A NINA SIMONE BEFORE. LOVE’S MADE OF FIRE >> NINA SIMONE’S STATUE IN DOWNTOWN TRYON AND HER CHILDHOOD HOME ON A HILL ABOVE TOWN, SHE GREW UP POOR BUT WAS BORN WITH A GIFT. >> AT SIX MONTHS OLD, MY MOM SAID THAT I KNEW WHAT NOTES WERE. . >> MUSICAL NOTES. A CHILD PRODIGY AT THE PIANO. >> HER MUSICAL TASTE SPANS THE SPECTRUM. SHE WAS AT HOME WITH JAZZ. SHE WAS AT HOME WITH THE GREAT CLASSICS. NEW HER YOUNGER SISTER THE BEST. KNEW HER MOTHER QUITE WET. SHE’S CELEBRATED IN TRYON. MY SKIN IS BLACK >> SHE NEVER FORGOT THE RACISM SHE EXPERIENCED AT HOME. >> I GAVE A CONCERT. AND THEY WANTED TO PUT MY MOM AND DADDY ON THE BACK ROW. AND I REMEMBER STANDING UP QUITE BRAVE AND SAID OH NO, MY MOM AND DAD WILL SIT ON THE FRONT ROW. >> SHE REFUSED TO PLAY UNTIL HER PARENTS WERE SEATED IN THE FRONT SEAT WHERE SHE COULD SEE HER MOTHER. >> SIT DOWN. >> PEOPLE WEREN’T PAYING ATTENTION TO HER SINGING, SHE WAS NOT GOING TO BE PART OF THE BACKGROUND. >> SHE BECAME AN ACTIVIST FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, EQUALITY. DON’T TELL ME, I’LL TELL YOU, ME AND MY PEOPLE JUST ABOUT DUE >> YOU’D BE AMAZED AT THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW HER MODEL AND WHO HAVE BEEN JUST SO INSPIRED IS NOT JUST BY HER MUSICAL ARTISTRY BUT BY HER REFUSAL TO BACK DOWN WHEN SHE KNEW SHE WAS RIGHT. . >> SHE DID GO FAR. FROM PLAYING IN LONELY NIGHTCLUBS TO PERFORMING AROUND THE WORLD. >> I ENTERED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME. >> AND I’M FEELING GOOD. >> HOW IS SHE VIEWED TODAY? >> I THINK SHE’S HIGHLY REGARDED FOR HER MUSICIANSHIP. FOR HER ACTIVISM. >> I DON’T BELONG HERE, I DON’T BELONG THERE, I’VE EVEN STOPPED BELIEVING IN FRIENDS. >> WHAT DID SHE THINK OF TRYON IN HER LATER YEARS. >> OBVIOUSLY THERE WERE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT BEING HOME. BUT IT NEVER THE LESS WAS A TOUCH STONE FOR HER. I SING JUST TO KNOW THAT I’M ALIVE >> WAS SHE A WOMAN AHEAD OF HER TIME. >> I’D LIKE TO THE OF IT MORE AS SHE WAS RIGHT ON TIME. SHE CAME ABOUT WHEN SHE WAS MOST NEEDED. >> THAT’S IT. [ APPLAUSE ] . >> MY FATHER’S FROM DANVILLE VIRGINIA. >> WENDELL SCOTT WAS HIS FATHER. >> WENDELL SCOTT IS NASCAR’S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN STAR. >> IN MY OPINION, MY HUMBLE OPINION, HE WAS THE BEST. OF COURSE HE’S MY GRANDFATHER. >> HE HEADS THE FOUNDATION IN WAKE FOREST, THE OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE PIONEERING LEGEND. THE JACKIE ROBINSON OF NASCAR. >> HE’S STILL THE ONLY AFRICAN AMERICAN TO COMPETE FULL-TIME IN RACING’S NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES. >> FOR WENDELL, EVERY RACE WAS A STRUGGLE. AND EVERY STRUGGLE WAS ABOUT RACE. >> SCOTT RAN ALMOST 500 NASCAR RACES. >> 147 TOP TEN FINISHES. TOP 20, 79% OF THE TIME. JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA, 1963. >> WENDELL SCOTT BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO TAKE THE CHECKERED FLAG. BUT IT WAS FAR MEASURABLY KATEED THAN THAT. >> WHAT HAPPENED IN FLORIDA THAT SUNDAY REMAINS ONE OF THE MOST INFAMOUS EVENTS IN RACING HISTORY. >> WELL, I DON’T THINK THEY WANTED A BLACK MAN TO WIN THE RACE. >> RACE FISHES DIDN’T DROP THE FLAG WHEN HE DROPPED THE FINISH LINE. THEY SAID WHAT YOU THINK HE WON THE RACE? I SAID I KNOW HE WON THE RACE. IT TOOK SIX HOURS BEFORE THEY AWARDED HIM THE RACE AFTER EVERYBODY WAS GONE. THEY WAITED UNTIL ALL THE FANS LEFT WHEN IT WAS DETERMINED WENDELL SCOTT WAS THE WINNER. >> BACK THEN THE BEAUTY QUEEN USED TO KISS THE WINNER. MY FATHER SAID THEY DIDN’T WANT A BLACK MAN KISS A WHITE LADY. MY FATHER SAID I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WIFE I’LL KISS MY WIFE. >> IT’S NOT SO MUCH WHAT YOU SAY IT’S WHAT YOU DO. >> WHAT WENDELL SCOTT DID WITHOUT A PAID PIT CREW. >> HE DID ALL HIS OWN WORK WITH HIS TWO SONS. >> WAS TO DRIVE THE NATION CLOSER TO EQUALITY. >> HE WAS THE POSTER CHILD FOR PERSEVERANCE. GOSH MAN HE LED A MOVEMENT. BUT PERHAPS HIS GETTEST WHIP WAS THE RESPECT OF THE FANS — GREATEST WIN WHO WAS THE RESPECT FROM THE FANS WHO OFTEN SHOUTED FROM THE STANDS GIVE . >> SO THE FINISHED PRODUCT, HOW DOES IT TASTE IN. >> IT TASTES PHENOMENAL. >> RED VELVET. CAKES AND CUPCAKES. >> TRY NOT TO MAKE A MESS. >> HIS POUR IS PERFECT. AND HERE COME THE CAKES. >> IT’S AN INTERESTING WAY TO SEE WHAT RISES TO THE SURFACE. >> READY TO ROLL. >> SOMETIMES IT TAKES A JOLT. >> I WAS JUST ADDICTED TO THE HUSTLE OF MAKING MONEY OFF THE DRUGS. >> HE STARTED SELLING DRUGS AS A TEENAGER GROWING UP IN DURHAM. >> I WAS MAKING SNEAKER MONEY. >> THEN CAME BIGGER MONEY AND THEN CAME HIS ARREST. >> I WOUND UP DOING 42 MONTHS IN PRISON. >> HE MET AN INMATE WHO WAS A BAKER. >> HE STARTED TEACHING ME HOW TO BAKE PIES, COOKIES, CAKES, ONE DAY HE MADE A CARROT CAKE, AND IT WAS PHENOMENAL, HE HAD ME SOLD. >> HE DID NOT IMMEDIATELY GO FROM PRISONER TO PASTRY CHEF WHEN HE CAME HOME. >> I TOOK SOME STEPS BACKWARDS. >> HE EVENTUALLY STARTED DEALING DRUGS AGAIN AND NEARLY GOT CAUGHT IN A MAJOR BUST THAT MIGHT HAVE PUT HIM AWAY FOR 20 YEARS OR MORE. >> YOU WERE SO CLOSE. >> SO CLOSE TO BEING GONE FOREVER. THIS WAS MY TURNING POINT. SOMETHING ON THE INSIDE OF ME SAID STEP OUT ON YOUR GIFT. AND THAT GIFT WAS THE GIFT OF BAKING. ONE MAN, ONE PAN, ONE VISION. >> I STARTED BAKING CAKES OUT OF MY TOWNHOUSE, I WOULD GET UP AND GO TO EVERY BARBER SHOP, NAIL SALON, ANY PLACE WHERE PEOPLE WERE TO SELL A SLICE. AND I WAS SELLING THEM FOR $2 A SLICE. >> HE DID THAT FOR EIGHT YEARS BEFORE OPENING FAVOR DECEMBERER ISS. >> FAVOR IS UNCOMMON BREAKS. WITHOUT GOD THIS WOULDN’T BE POSSIBLE. HE’S FOUND FAVOR ON ME AND MY BUSINESS. AND KEEWAN IS RETURNING THE FAVOR. HE’S HELPING OTHERS TASTE SUCCESS. >> GOD TOOK ME THROUGH ALL OF THAT BECAUSE HE HAD PLAN FOR MY LIFE. AND THIS IS MY PURPOSE. >> ARE YOU HAVING FUN? >> OH ABSOLUTELY. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. SCOTT, I’M ALWAYS HAVING FUN. >> AND ALWAYS COOKING FISH. IT’S SIMPLE. JUST A BOX. A SALT BOX. ESTABLISHED 2012. >> I’M A STUDENT OF FOOD AND A STUDENT OF THE HISTORY OF FOOD. MY FAMILY IS FROM BUFORD AND HARLOW. IF THE FOOD IS NOT GOOD, THE TROOPS CAN’T FIGHT. WAIT, THERE’S MORE, WORKING IN UPSCALE RESTAURANTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. >> I DECIDED I WANTED TO TAKE WHAT I KNEW AS A FINE DINING CHEF AND APPLY IT TO SOMETHING THAT COULD FEED THE MASSES. FRESH SEAFOOD. >> FOR EVERYTHING THAT I WENT THROUGH GROWING UP, I DID ONE THING AND DID IT WELL. RICKY DOES A GREAT JOB. SEAFOOD BEING SO FRESH. >> SHE JUST CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT OYSTERS. >> SPANISH MACKEREL, WE HAVE MULLET. >> HE HAS HUSH HONEYS THAT I HAVE NEVER TASTED AT A FISH PLACE. >> HUSH HONEYS. IN THE ITALIAN KITCHEN, THERE’S A DESSERT CALLED ZEPOLESE. IT’S A FRIED DOUGH. I MADE THE CONNECTION OF THE TWO. SO MANY CONNECTIONS. SAME CONCEPT. HIS ORIGINAL LOCATION ON MANGHAN STREET. >> PLACE TO BE. FOOD IS AWESOME. FOOD IS GREAT. >> THE IDEA FOR SALT BOX CAME FROM THAT. A SMALL LITTLE ENVIRONMENT HERE. >> HIS SPICES. HE HAS SO MANY UNUSUAL FLAVORS MIXED IN. >> PRIOR TO BEING A COOK, I WAS GOING TO BE AN ARTIST. NOW HE’S AN AUTHOR. THESE RECIPES ARE EASILY DONE IN THE HOME KITCHEN. ALWAYS HAVE TO BE FOCUSED. WHATEVER GOES DOWN, YOU HAVE TO SEE IT THROUGH. >> ARE YOU ABLE TO STAY FOCUSED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS? >> I AM. TOUGH TIMES COME. YOU GET TOUGHER. >> MAYBE THAT’S THE STORY OF SALT BOX SEAFOOD. >> IT’S BEEN FANTASTIC. >> IT’S REMAINED ANCHORED IN FRESH SEAFOOD, SIMPLE FOOD, AND HUSH HONEY. >> WE COOK, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE’RE HERE TO MAKE FOLKS HAPPY. >> SALT BOX SEAFOOD WITH TWO LOCATIONS IN DURHAM. WE HOPE YOU’VE ENJOYED THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF THE TARHEEL TRAVELER. OUR SALUTE TO INSPIRATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICANS. WE’LL SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT TIME DOWN THE TRACK. I’M SCOTT MASON, THE TARHEEL TRAVELER. ORDER TARHEEL TRAVELER BOOKS AT THE TARHEEL TRAVELER.COM. BUCKS THAT CELEBRATE THE STATE. COPIES AUTOGRAPHED AND PERSONALIZED AT

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