I awoke yesterday morning at 5:30, and was standing outside the gate to the Swan Quarter Ferry fifteen minutes before 7 am. Robin Payne, Rudy Austin and I were traveling to Raleigh to visit the women who answer the telephones at the Call Center for the North Carolina Division of Travel and Tourism. We carried books, brochures, a power point presentation, and years of accumulated island history, stories, and experience.
We arrived in Raleigh fifteen minutes before our 1:30 appointment, but were delayed because of typical bureaucratic miscommunication. That was eventually resolved and we had a wonderful time sharing our love of Ocracoke with about a dozen and a half interested and attentive women. One message we had for these folks who answer the phones was that if a caller is hoping to visit a coastal community with easy access to fast food, miniature golf, water parks, and chain stores, Ocracoke is not the place for them.
On the other hand, if a caller is interested in the unique experience we have to offer (wide, unspoiled beaches; superb fishing; excellent restaurants; a small, picturesque village...most of our readers can fill in the rest of this parenthetical comment) then Ocracoke IS what they are looking for.
The women at the Call Center understood, and were enthusiastic about Ocracoke (well, the homemade fig cake we brought them didn't hurt our presentation, either!).
We're hoping to get more information specific to Ocracoke on the official web site of the NC Division of Travel and Tourism, but you might want to take a look at it now anyway: http://www.visitnc.com/
It was a long day. We caught the 11 pm Hatteras ferry, and arrived back home at midnight. We were gone eighteen and a half hours, most of that time filled with stories, laughter, and a shared loved for our island home.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of early twentieth century itinerant salesmen, entertainers, and preachers who found their way to the island. You can read it here.