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Posts tagged ‘North Carolina’

Jar of Coins

Frank Szabo was big and ugly, “a huge monstrosity of a man,” as my grandfather described him.  They first met during World War II.  Frank was a little older than the others in the outfit and seen as serious and mature.  My grandfather soon discovered he was also kind and humble, and Frank’s gentleness and consideration impressed him in one particular incident involving a vulnerable young woman at a party:

After this incident, my grandfather and Frank became good friends.  And then, in early 1943, their outfit was taking a troop train from Cherry Point, North Carolina, to San Diego.  The train was scheduled to pass through New Bern, where Frank’s wife was to be waiting. Read more

Hotel Queen Anne

My grandparents met in 1943 in North Carolina.

Some 70 years later, my mother, sister, and I were driving around New Bern looking for the location of the hotel where the wedding ceremony took place.  We knew that the building no longer existed, but I wondered if anything, some remnant, remained.  And if not, maybe whatever took its place would be worthwhile.

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My grandmother had enlisted in early 1943 and was sent through basic training with many other women enlistees at Hunter College in New York, then through technical training as an aircraft mechanic in Memphis, and finally to Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, for duty.

This was where she met my grandfather, who was already stationed at Cherry Point in the Aircraft Overhaul and Repair Facility as an Aircraft Programs noncommissioned officer.  My grandmother was assigned in the same organization, as a timekeeper and payroll clerk for the civilian personnel who worked in the department.

My grandfather soon was transferred to a Fleet Marine Force unit scheduled for overseas assignment. Read more

Suitable Entertainments

A few weeks ago, my mother and I were standing by the marina in Oriental, North Carolina, when a car full of people pulled up to the curb.  Soon, another couple walked up and then another.  “Playing Pokémon?” they all asked.  The group gathered by the water catching Magikarp ranged in age from 25 to 65.  One couple left their kids in the car to amuse themselves while they joined all the other adults playing Pokémon Go.  I was stunned.  Chairs were grabbed from trunks.  Lures were set.  Snacks were offered, along with Pokémon-related commentary and advice.

I was a Nintendo girl growing up but too old for the Pokémon craze when it first swept through the culture.  I still don’t quite understand what they are or what their purpose is … or how a whole movie was made about them.

But I know how to catch them, how to hatch them, and what to do at a PokéStop.  The game is great.  Don’t listen to the haters. Read more

Two Days of Television and Vermin in North Carolina

Day 1

I woke up to several droppings and liquidy grossness inches from my face on the pull-out couch. Further investigation showed a few pellets down the side of the mattress and on the floor as well.

Mom: “It’s something, but not sure it’s a mouse.”

I didn’t want to think it was a mouse either, but realistically, what were the alternatives? Cockroaches? Bat? (Maybe I’m now a vampire?) Read more

Route 17 Road Trip

Day One

USS North Carolina Battleship, with Wilmington, NC

USS North Carolina Battleship, Wilmington, NC

When we set out from Oriental, North Carolina Friday morning, the first real stop on Route 17 was the USS North Carolina Battleship, across the water from downtown Wilmington.

In the little park outside the battleship, a monument was dedicated to “sailors on eternal patrol.” It was here a goose

Hissing Goose

Hissing Goose (I’m not sure which one hissed)

hissed at me and we were warned not to feed the alligators.

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In the small town of Southport, we ate salads and happened upon a vegan bath and body shop. That’s where I got the lemongrass lotion, whipped from shea butter and other organic materials. I’ve been lathering it on my body ever since.

After dark, the Great Hotel Search commenced. Every person along the eastern seaboard was apparently stopping the night in Savannah. I believe we literally got the last room in the city. The pillows were bizarrely small, about half the size of regular pillows, but the bed had twice as many, so you really got the standard number of pillows.

In the room that night, we read what the internet had to offer about the crime in Savannah and were convinced we’d be murdered the minute we left the hotel. Whose stupid idea was it to come here?

Read more