Sunday afternoon I took a later-than-usual walk on the beach. It had rained earlier in the day, and fog had rolled in. Overnight, it seemed, the ocean had morphed from a quiet and tranquil friend to an angry, overwrought adversary. I walked from the lifeguard beach and headed south into the wind. As I approached the airport ramp I noticed a small sedan stuck in the soft sand just a few feet onto the beach. It is always tourists who get stuck. They think they can drive in the sand with two-wheel-drive vehicles.
I walked up to the car and offered to call Jesse's towing service for them But they didn't want to spend the money. They were two college age young men from South Carolina. Someone had already agreed to fetch them a tow rope. Then I guess they were planning to wait for a good Samaritan with a four-wheel-drive vehicle to pull them out.
"If you let me drive," I offered, "and you two push, I think we can get her out. It's only a few feet back to the hard packed ramp."
"But it's bottomed out," one of them said.
Sure enough, the car was down on the chassis. But they hadn't spun their wheels, so they weren't mired up to the hubs. And the car was small and light. I scooped some sand away from the back of the front tires; the rear tires were sitting on top of the sand. They handed me the keys. I started her up and put her in reverse. Very gently I pressed down on the accelerator. With them pushing we moved about eight or ten feet, then came to a halt.
After a little more scooping we tried again. Now we had Bert to help push also. In no time at all we were back on the firm ramp.
"Thank you!" they both said as I handed them their keys and they settled into the car.
"Oh, one more thing," I suggested as they were closing the doors. "I'd cover up that Phi Beta Kappa decal in your rear window!"
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter discusses place names on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news113009.htm.