Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Free Hugs

I am often delightfully surprised on Ocracoke. Last Thursday evening was no exception. Lou Ann and I were strolling along Highway 12, having just finished a delicious dinner at the Flying Melon. About half way home a small group of teenagers on the other side of the road caught our attention. There were three boys and one girl. Each had a small cardboard sign on which they had hand-lettered "Free Hugs."

"Would you like a free hug?" they called out to us, holding aloft their signs.

Of course we agreed. We couldn't imagine not accepting hugs from these smiling, enthusiastic teens. They only tarried long enough to convey the hugs, and to tell us they were visiting from High Point, North Carolina. Then they were off, merrily offering hugs as they proceeded toward the harbor.

The next time I am tempted to think about rowdy or surly teenagers, I will remind myself of these congenial and refreshing young people.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Hurricane House and the Hurricane Boards. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072112.htm.


  1. Anonymous8:10 AM

    While driving my son to his job at the local university bookstore the other morning here in Pittsburgh, we both had a chuckle when we spied a smiling young man Downtown holding aloft a hand-lettered cardboard sign that proclaimed the message "It's a sign." We received a thumbs up from him in exchange for the toot from our car horn, and continued along our way all the more cheerful.

    Then just a few days later, after a vigorous bike ride along the city's river trails, I was standing in line at my favorite off-island coffee shop, La Prima Espresso, when a woman in line behind me asked "So, you like Ocracoke coffee, too?" referring to my sweaty Ocracoke Coffee Company tee shirt.

    We had a brief chat about our Ocracoke visits. I referred her to your blog. And then, per her suggestion, I walked outside, crossed the street, and over to her parked car. Her waiting husband opened the driver's side window and brightened when I said "Your wife suggested I come over and show you my tee shirt."

    There's just something about Ocracoke.


  2. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Last week NPR aired a story about National Hug Day. It was July 18th. It took outsiders/visitors to bring the news of such a thing to your island. Yes there is something about Ocracoke.

  3. Anonymous6:15 PM

    This world would be a better place if people would hug more! What a great story, Philip.
    NC Mainlander loves it. BTW, I usually sign my greeting cards with "tucking a hug inside" or "sending a big hug for you". I love hugging people, but not everyone is a "hugger". What a wonderful and kind deed for those teenagers to do....a free hug on Ocracoke Island. Now, that's truly memorable!

    Hugs to all!

  4. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Hugs are personal and the overuse or extreme hand slapping loud man to man greeting my co workers engage in daily seems more suited at a family reunion or a softball game. While so much energy is spent engaging in this greeting -- they seem to spend the next 8 hours on the clock recovering from the greeting. Yes friendships are formed at work but save the sports type hug for the getting together over a beer. Such energetic hugs for migraine suffers and accident prone people seems risky. But if all the research is true, maybe this actually helps them get through the day.. More power to them.