Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blackbeard's Revenge

OCRACOKE ISLAND, N.C. -- When boarding a ship, he burned cannon wicks in his hair, scaring victims into thinking he'd come from Hell. He shot his own sailmaster in the knee to discourage mutiny and commanded a pirate navy bold enough to blockade a whole city.

Yet Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard, has never been more popular on the Crystal Coast and Outer Banks of North Carolina. His personal flag, a demon with hourglass and a spear piercing a crimson heart, flutters from many homes and shops. Blackbeard is big business here, from his one-time home at Bath, to Beaufort Inlet where his Queen Anne's Revenge is now being salvaged, to Ocracoke, where he met a violent end. There is everything from a beer to a rock band named for the world's most famous pirate, whose glory days covered 1717-18.

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