Mary Nolan died a couple of years ago. Last night her partner, Annie, invited a number of Mary's friends to the Flying Melon Restaurant for a "memorial dinner." Mary was anything but conventional, so it was no surprise that dinner was no maudlin affair. Mary loved Ocracoke and lived here for many years. She had an impish grin and would often remark that it was time to let her seven-year-old self out to play.
Even in later years Mary was frequently to be found at the beach, either fishing or swimming. Too often, to the dismay of friends and park rangers, she would float at length beyond the breakers with little or no fear.
After dinner we settled back to share tales about Mary. Some were stories recounting her wisdom, or her adventures in Central America; others were about her sometimes off-beat sense of humor. Sherrill Senseney told about a rather unconventional study group that met in the Methodist Church recreation hall some years ago. Scott Peck's book "The Road Less Traveled" was the focus of the conversation. Mary joined with enthusiasm. Several weeks into the study Sherrill mentioned something about the "Sunday School Class." With a feigned look of shock and horror in her eyes, Mary grabbed the edge of the table and blurted out, "Oh my gosh....you mean to tell me I've been in a Sunday School class all this time!!"
Mary was without a doubt one of Ocracoke's many interesting and beloved "characters." We still miss her.
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of George & Jule, published October 29, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102905.htm.