Our Meet Your Ranger series introduces you to the many amazing people who support our Outer Banks national parks every day!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Program of study and relevant work experience: I studied Architecture and Business at Howard University and ultimately became a tour guide in Washington, D.C. Having started at Arlington National Cemetery with a private tour guide company in 1998, I went over to be a United States Capitol tour guide from 2004 to 2013, serving as Operations Supervisor the final five years. I did some acting and comedy in the area until I moved to the Outer Banks in late 2013. I worked a few months at Jockey’s Ridge State Park and Manteo’s Roanoke Island Festival Park before joining the National Park Service.
Position in our Outer Banks national parks: Seasonal Interpretive Park Ranger.
Where you can be found: Wright Brothers National Memorial.
Other national parks you have worked at: Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Bodie Island Lighthouse). I have been with the National Park Service now for eight summers.
Currently watching and listening to: I listen to classic rock and country and watch funny Gen Z meme and comedy videos.
What do you like to do in your free time? I am often either studying, working around the house or relaxing with Laurie and our dog, Davy.
What do you like most about the Outer Banks? It is a hard choice between the people, who are so hospitable, and the temperate climate with the wonderful cross-breezes. It would be hard to ever leave.
What inspired you to follow this career path?
I once got the bug for public speaking before high school. There seems to be a spark of energy released when words are arranged a certain way; experimenting with the right balance is intoxicating. It feels great when you believe you’ve been of value or at least worth the price of entry. Like golfing, it can be very difficult to walk away from presenting once you’ve gotten the bug.
What does a typical workday or work week look like for you?
I lead a variety of talks and presentations and, much like a politician, will often spend the day shaking hands, signing autographs (mostly Junior Ranger books 😊) and kissing little babies.
What do you enjoy most about working at Wright Brothers National Memorial?
Leading the large crowds outdoors makes me feel alive like I did in my 20s in Washington, D.C. Everyone seems excited to hear the story of the brothers here, even though they know how it turns out. It is fun to try to create elements of awe and surprise.
What is a favorite memory you have from your time working in the Outer Banks?
Oh, I have several. May I offer up a couple?
On my final day interpreting at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, the interpreters got together to take me to lunch at a café in downtown Manteo. We were in period costume still and wandered in as if we were lost through time. People took pictures of and with us as we struggled with modern customs and using the utensils. The back of a “k’nife” just made more sense to us. People got a kick out of our act.
And the second:
I was delivering the “Wind and Sand” program at Wright Brothers National Memorial recently, and as I was approaching a climactic moment in the presentation, a toddler – maybe three years old – broke free of his father and rushed over towards me with a giant grin from ear to ear. I (of course) went for the high five and the kid, still all smiles, was whisked away by his father. I won’t forget it, as it felt like the kid naturally understood the power of inspiration and of the moment. I’d suspect he will have a bright future.
Why are our Outer Banks national parks important?
Our Outer Banks national parks offer an opportunity to diversify your vacation. A little history with a lot of time at the beach makes for returning home refreshed. People might not come here for the parks, but it is nice for a section of the country with such cultural and scientific significance to have acknowledgement, support and resources from the federal government.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or about our Outer Banks national parks?
I would really like to sincerely thank Outer Banks Forever for singling me out for this interview in addition to all the help they provide for the parks. This is truly a pleasure.
Note: A Wright Brothers National Memorial visitor recently wrote a letter of appreciation for Adonis’s powerful “Wind and Sand” program:
“Adonis gave what was, simply put, the best tour I have had of any historical location in years. …I have been a history professor for more than 20 years. I have been the chair of my home department for more than 10 now. …What I saw when I was on the tour with Adonis was some of the finest teaching imaginable.”
Way to go, Adonis!
Want to join Adonis for a “Wind and Sand” program? This guided walking tour is offered daily from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. through September 5. Meet at the back patio of the Visitor Center. This program is wheelchair accessible.