I just returned home a few hours ago. I left yesterday morning for an eye appointment on Wednesday afternoon in Elizabeth City and a dental appointment today in Nags Head. (Otherwise routine tasks can be very time-consuming when you live on Ocracoke!)
On the way back yesterday I stopped at an antique store. In the course of purchasing a couple of small items I discovered that the owner is originally from Hatteras Island. We visited for almost two hours, swapping tales and stories. Here is one he told me about one of his kin:
It was years ago and Tom wanted a load of sand to put on the floor of a shell shop he was opening in response to the growing influx of tourists to the Outer Banks. It hadn't been many years since the federal government had created the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. For generations islanders had been accustomed to digging sand from the beach for mixing cement and for other projects, but now that practice was outlawed.
Tom asked a cousin who had the equipment if maybe he could get him one or two loads of sand. "Tom, you know it's not allowed no longer. Them park rangers are out there on that beach thick as fleas," he said. "And it wouldn't be right. That beach is protected federal property now."
Tom reflected a moment and said, "Trav, they're not out there after midnight are they?"
His cousin didn't hesitate. "Tom, where was it you said you wanted that sand dumped?"
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Old Toothbrush Man, published August 01, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news080105.htm.]