A Tribute to the Tar Heel Traveler
WRAL TV reporter Scott Mason has delighted audiences for more than 13 years with his engaging Tar Heel Traveler segments on WRAL. An Emmy Award winner, his short stories provide incredible detail while remaining engaging to viewers. His stories pack in plenty of information in two and a half minutes while being meticulously prepared before airing on WRAL.
Since taking on the Traveler role in 2007, Mason has traveled throughout North Carolina profiling colorful characters and off-the-beaten-path places. His most beloved stories center around hole-in-the-wall hot dog dives, cheeseburger joints, barbecue eateries, biscuit shops and ice cream parlors found along his travels – in this new book he expands on these highly popular TV stories that showcase Mom-and-Pop establishments with stories about those who frequent them and why people love them.
This book is an unusual combination of oral history, memoir, and quirkiness, featuring many of the restaurants Mason has profiled throughout his years and their culinary secrets and treats. Each chapter in Mason’s book focuses on one restaurant seen through his eyes; these chapters contain dialogue as well as descriptive details that often include inspiring backstories for these beloved establishments’ origin.
Scott travels to Raleigh’s Angus Barn – longtime favorite of his — where executive chef Walter Royal shares the secret behind its legendary steaks and signature sauces. Additionally, he stops by the old-fashioned Daughtry’s Bait & Tackle in Clinton owned and run by generations of one family since 1918.
One section of Mason’s book features historic churches that honor their rich histories while providing believers a place to come together in fellowship and find solace, forgiveness or guidance. He visits two in Guilford County – Springfield Friends Meeting founded by Quakers who were revolutionary for their time, as well as Moore County man who paints vintage Coca-Cola signs onto his house wall – which offer such opportunities for prayerful fellowship among believers.
Each story from The Tar Heel Traveler highlights all that makes North Carolina special: its people, culture, traditions and food. This tribute honors those hardworking individuals who create such an outstanding state.