In those younger childhood years, a rainy day meant playing under the house. Friends nearby who lived in or rented cottages not so highly elevated would come over and we'd play under the house and do such things as build a sand super highway to match any of today's interstates. All we needed was a shovel or old shingle to move the sand around, a bucket of water for packing sand to build overpasses and we could keep going for hours without bothering anyone. And we always brought with us one of those small transistor radios that could pick-up my favorite Newport News station, WGH, and we'd listen to the favorites of the day as we did our work. In the end, when we were done and ready to go back inside, we'd smooth out the road and turn the sand back the way it was before we started.
After my dad died and I grew older, my routine would change and my thoughts moved to different things. From age twelve on girls were likely prominent in the picture. Since Sunday was the start of the vacation rental week, if we met a girl earlier in the week who was there with family, it was probably at the Nags Head Recreation Center just a short walk up the beach by the Nags Head Fishing Pier. For those who either couldn't pass for being older or weren't willing to chance it, a visit to the big nightspot down the road know as the Casino was out of the question. So, the big skating rink was the drawing card since all the young ladies loved to skate. Where the girls were was where the boys would congregate and if we found a girl with a mutual infatuation by Friday we were beginning to hate to see the week end because she would be leaving. On a few occasions, we might meet a girl who came back every summer and it was always wonderful to see them again the next year. It was harmless, just part of growing up but in those days a kiss under the moon and stars with a pretty girl was pretty special. But it required putting up with lots of blisters and falls on skates to get their attention. Perhaps at that young age it was a great way to improve pain tolerance for we could never let a girl know we hurt ourselves.
So, what else would a teenager do on a rainy Friday? Well, card games, Scrabble and even reading a great beach book like The Hatterasman, The Old Man and the Sea, Graveyard of the Atlantic or in the latter years, even David Stick's classic about the Great Ash Wednesday storm was enjoyable in the cool, salty air. And if it was just rain without thunder and lightning, even a nice walk with friends along the ocean and perhaps including the climb of Jockey's Ridge was fun. Rain or shine, on the walk back home we'd always stop at the Snow Bird for what my Uncle Hal called that delicions "Blowed Up Foam." Truth be told, a rainy day was just as wonderful as a sunny one on that wonderful beach and, if we had too much sun, it offered a soothing respite when it was needed.
But those days back in the '50's and '60's were different. It was still a family beach, everyone knew each other and there was no crime to speak of. Kids could be devilish, but we knew our limits and we'd never back talk an adult or say another other than "Yes, Sir" and "Yes, Ma'am" unless we were asked. They were beautiful times, special times and they were the days of "Summers at Old Nags Head."
Find "Summers at Old Nags Head" and my other Outer Banks book, "The Long Road Back," here in paperback and FREE with Kindle Unlimited: amazon.com/author/jamesdick. You may have to cut and paste to your browser. They can also be found at Muse Originals OBX in Kitty Hawk at MP2.5 on the beach road.