Last night I attended an Ocracoke Preservation Society executive committee meeting. Five or six of us had already arrived and were chatting when Clayton walked in. Everyone stopped talking, stared at Clayton, and made some exclamation ("Whoa!" or "Huh?" or some such sound). Clayton was wearing a suit and a tie.
"Was there a funeral we didn't know about?" we asked. "What's going on, Clayton?"
Clayton explained that he'd been to a meeting "up the beach" (maybe in Nags Head or Kill Devil Hills, I can't remember exactly where), and had just gotten off the ferry.
We had finally quit talking about Clayton's sartorial idiosyncrasy when Ruth walked in, stopped short, and stared at Clayton. Ruth demanded an explanation, too.
Eventually we got on with the meeting and pretty much ignored the suit and tie. But it speaks a lot about Ocracoke that one man in a suit and tie elicits so much mild shock. As I write this morning I wonder why Clayton didn't remove his jacket and tie on the ferry. Maybe he was simply enjoying an extended evening feeling connected to the world beyond the inlets. We'll start worrying about him if he shows up at the post office in his suit and tie.
Our latest Newsletter is about the old Howard cemetery on British Cemetery Road. You can read the stories here.