An off-island friend recently purchased one of Ocracoke's older island homes "down point." She is here for the week and looking forward to this year's Ocrafolk Festival. To celebrate the Memorial Day holiday she invited friends over for a cookout last night. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs to go along with the various side dishes we all brought. We had a grand time.
I left at 8 o'clock to meet with Donald & Merle Davis and their workshop group of storytellers. We met in my living room where Al Scarborough and I shared island stories about wandering ghosts, eerie shipwrecks, phantom encounters, and "dead" people turning over in their caskets.
On a lighter note, before we started the tales I told the group that earlier in the day a customer had asked me if our pottery was dishwasher safe. I assured him that it was, but I added, "actually I don't have a dishwasher, myself." He looked at me, and with genuine astonishment asked, "How do you get your dishes clean?"
Donald took that as a cue to share an encounter with school students at one of his programs off the island. When he explained that he and Merle didn't have a television one of the students asked incredulously, "How do you know what to buy?"
I guess that wasn't really a "lighter note." Actually, it's more than a little bit frightening. I can only hope that enough folks have resisted the commercialization of modern life to have retained a genuine appreciation for family, community, history, and stories, and that our lives are enriched by each other and not by the things we purchase.