It may not be possible to overstate the impact that Edward Greene has had on the Outer Banks. He’s probably best know to our visitors as the founder and original owner of the Christmas Shop in Manto.
But Edward Greene is so much more than that.
A new documentary movie, “Christmas Everyday – The Wonderful Life of Eddie Greene”from local filmmaker Bryan Jones tells the remarkable story of Greene’s life.
Now 94 and in a wheelchair, Greene may be physically weaker than he was, but his mind and wit are as sharp as ever. And that comes through so clearly in the movie.
He grew up in New Rochelle, New York and was drafted into the Navy during WWII. Trained as a medical technician, he was scheduled to be in the first wave of troops to invade Japan when atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Out of the Navy in October, he traveled cross country to San Francisco, discovers dance and at age 20 decides to begin training to be a professional dancer. Two years later, he’s in New York, beginning his professional career.
The Story through Edward Greene’s Eyes
To most people, that is an exceptional string of events. To Edward, though, as he narrates it, there’s nothing exceptional about it. He enrolls at US Berkeley as a pre-med student, goes to the San Francisco Ballet and decides he would rather be a dancer.
Greene is by no means unemotional. From the first time he came to Manteo in the early 1950s to dance with The Lost Colony, he makes it clear he fell in love with the Outer Banks.
He talks about opening the Christmas Shop in 1967 with a lot of humility and a touch of humor, admitting that he had a great idea but none of the paperwork his banker needed for a loan. Something Ray White, who handled that first loan, noted in an interview for the movie.
To give some perspective on Edward Greene’s impact on the Outer Banks, there was the Christmas Shop, although he no longer owns it. He was one of the founding members of the Outer Banks Community Foundation. He started Manteo Booksellers, now Downtown Books in Manteo. He created the New World Festival of the Arts, an annual gathering of crafters and artists on the Manteo waterfront in August. And he was instrumental in creating Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
And that’s just a partial list.
The movie is a bit choppy at times and will probably be edited again, but if it does get to any type of general distribution, it’s worth seeing.
Plan your fall or winter stay with Brindley Beach Vacations to experience the real Outer Banks.