I arrived here on Ocracoke two weeks ago, and even those two weeks seem to have flown by. I've been finding my bearings in that time, learning where things are, figuring out work schedules and other more complicated things like how to feed myself or change my sleep habits so I wake up more than fifteen minutes before I have to be at work. I thought it might be a good idea to let you all know exactly how I came to be on Ocracoke, since it seems like everyone has a good story about how they ended up here, whether its for a vacation, a summer or lifetime. My name is Ali, I'm 18 and from Vermont, but I go to Bishop's University in Quebec, and I have just finished my first year there. As second semester was winding down and I was considering my options for summer employment, I was less than enthusiastic about my prospects. Most of the summer jobs available were low paying and boring, and not at all how I had envisioned my summer. Going to school in Canada also let me on a slightly different mindset, where a lot people aren't home at all in the summertime, instead escaping away to cottages or traveling or getting jobs tree planting in the middle of nowhere.
I decided to look for an adventure of my own. I was home for a weekend, and I had remembered seeing some summer jobs on the Outer Banks. My mother and Jude go way back, from when my mom used to sell for my grandfather's company, Montgomery School House Wooden Toys, which they carried once upon a time at the Village Craftsmen. After getting the idea from Jude, we had vacationed down to Ocracoke a couple times about ten years ago. I asked my mom if she still had Jude's number (or rather, her friend down on Ocracoke's number since at the time I didn't know her name or what a big part she was going to play in my summer.) I called up Jude that evening, and explained who I was, and asked if she knew of anyone who was looking for work or any place to stay. A week or so went by, and Jude called back saying she had a place for me to stay and place for me to work too. After talking to my mom, I called her the next day and accepted. The semester ended, I gathered up my things and set off driving down to Ocracoke. That's how my story begins.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the brave and courageous members of the US Life Saving Service. You can read it here.