Yesterday I accompanied twenty-one teachers to Portsmouth, the abandoned village on the south side of Ocracoke inlet. It was the perfect day -- just cool enough for a light jacket in the morning; t-shirt weather by mid afternoon. And hardly a mosquito to be felt! Almost unheard of. We walked unmolested to the Salter home, the post office, the school, the Dixon home, the church, and the US Life Saving Station.
One of the teachers played a hymn on the church piano, we walked up into the tower at the station to survey the village and the sound, and we marveled at the high tide lines on the wooden marker outside the post office.
At times it seemed as if we might be standing among the citizens, the children, the life savers, and the fishermen of this small, isolated village that two hundred years ago was bustling with commerce and the daily activities of a thriving seaport town. But today Portsmouth is one of this country's last refuges for peace and quiet. The houses are vacant now; the church bell is silent; the Life Saving Station is empty; and the sandy lanes are quiet. It is the perfect retreat from the busy-ness of the modern world.
Our latest monthly newsletter is Lou Ann's story of commercial clamming with 13 year old Morty. You can read it here.