I bought a porch chair recently, one that needed to be assembled, and I decided to put it together this morning. One small carriage bolt was either manufactured incorrectly, or, more likely I got it cross-threaded. I biked out to the hardware store, but they didn't have the size bolt I needed. While there a neighbor was shopping for potting soil, but he couldn't find the exact product he was looking for either. He chose something similar and jokingly commented about not having a "big box" store close by. Of course, he quickly added that there were many reasons he was happy about that.
I thought he might have a tap & die set (so I could re-thread the bolt), but no, he didn't. Just then another islander walked in and the first neighbor immediately asked him about re-threading the bolt. Yes, he had the right equipment, but he was on another errand. Would it be OK if he took the bolt, re-threaded it later today, and brought it back to me when he was finished? Of course, I said.
We may not have the advantages of big box stores on Ocracoke, but that slight inconvenience is made up by the neighborliness, good will, and community spirit of our neighbors.
And besides, we're only a couple of minutes from one of the best beaches in the country!
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story about volunteering for turtle patrol with the National Park Service. You can read her story and see her pictures here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072809.htm.