Yesterday's post reminded me of Ken McAlpine's 2004 book, Off Season. So I went back and skimmed through his chapter on Ocracoke where he relates attending a pot luck supper at my house. This is what he writes:
"'One of the nicest things about living on Ocracoke,' [Philip said], 'is there's very little pretension. Everybody knows who you really are. I don't know what evening get-togethers are like off the island anymore, but I suspect they're kind of stiffer. Here it's more like family. You're not trying to impress anybody about anything because everybody knows you.'
"I thought of parties I'd been to; strangers often react to one another by subtly, or not so subtly, marking their place, mentioning their job (neurologist), or their children's accomplishments (elementary school neurologist), or maybe how they once saw the top of Oliver Sacks's head moving across the airport concourse. It was like dogs peeing on trees. On this night I had been spared this uncomfortable ritual. People accepted me as I was and offered themselves as they were. I had enjoyed it immensely."
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the recent
skirmishes islanders have had with North Carolina legislatures over the
issue of ferry tolls...and a 1955 newspaper editorial advocating free,
state-operated ferries across Hatteras Inlet. You can read it here: