A summer visitor weeds waterfront

Published 11:56 am Sunday, August 22, 2010

Staff Writer

The Washington waterfront has been looking even more beautiful lately thanks, in part, to one woman.
If you have seen a woman down on the Washington waterfront boardwalk throughout the summer and weeding the area, chances are you may have run into Ann Knoch.
Knoch and her husband, Dave, have been in Washington for the past several months. Dave Knoch said the couple have enjoyed the summer and the people.
“Everyone always says ‘Hello,’ and they always have something nice to say,” Dave Knoch said. “It’s just so pleasant being here.”
Knoch said his wife has always had a green thumb when it comes to doing things in a garden and a knack for working with plants.
“I enjoy what I do,” she said. “People will beep their horns when they drive by and wave when I’m weeding. It’s always a pleasant experience.”
The Knochs are graduates of East Carolina University. They and moved to the Outer Banks in 1998.
In 2003, Ann Knoch was taken ill with encephalitis and lost her short-term memory. Unlike Drew Barrymore’s character in the movie “50 First Dates” who had a similar condition in the film, Dave Knoch said he doesn’t have to keep getting his wife to fall in love with him again and again, as Barrymore did in the movie with co-star Adam Sandler.
After her illness, Ann Knoch started assisting her husband in his pool and lawn service business. However, with the loss of one of the Knochs’ major service contracts, they thought changes needed to be made. They rented their beach house in Corolla to someone for the summer and relocated to Washington for the summer months. They will be leaving Washington and heading back to Corolla shortly.
Dave Knoch said, “Because of Ann’s love to work outside and to meet people, I contacted Phillip (Mobley, the city’s parks and recreation director) about her doing some volunteer work at the waterfront park area.”
Knoch said his wife loves staying busy and weeding.
“So, every day, I take her down to the waterfront, get her situated weeding and she’ll work for hours and hours,” he said.
So, throughout the summer, that’s exactly what she has been doing.
“Ann has been a vital part of civic beautification in working on our waterfront and helping keep Washington’s waterfront beautiful,” said Dee Congleton, a member of the Washington Area Historic Foundation. “Ann has weeded the waterfront all summer, worked on the (Washington-Beaufort County) Chamber of Commerce grounds, helped me in Harding Square and so much more. And she goes out there and works seven days a week, and always in the morning.”
Mobley and Edie Miller, president of the Washington Garden Club, presented the volunteer weeder with plaques and certificates recognizing her effort to make Washington waterfront’s beautiful landscape even more beautiful.
“You’ve done a great job,” Mobley said during the presentation. “and I can’t thank you enough for all the hard work you do. We’re certainly going to miss you.”
As the Knochs prepare to return to Corolla, Knoch said she’ll miss all the people who made her visit to Washington such a good one.