Holden Beach Memories
By Casey E. Reeves
Funny how the human mind….or at least the one I carry around…has the ability to clearly remember things that happened decades ago, yet can’t recall what I had for lunch yesterday. Useful facts, like my driver’s license number or supervisor’s birthday, would be lost forever if not scribbled down on a Post-it note somewhere. However, I not only remember…but can sing (painfully off-key, mind you) every lyric to the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s album. Go figure!
I was pondering this curiosity earlier today as I set out to post a “Happy Birthday” message to mom on Facebook. I couldn’t remember how old she was going to be this year (*gasp, I know…horrible daughter alert)…so I constructed a generic, non-age-mentioning, greeting and started searching through old photo files for a cute baby picture of her to attach instead. That’s when I came across this amazing picture of my mom and her father in the early 1950’s.
Across the bottom of the photo, someone had scrawled, “Peggy & Daddy 1956-57 @ Holden Beach”. In the photo my mother (who I now know was 4-years old) is perched high in the air atop my grandfather’s bear-sized hand… looking perfectly content to have this bird’s-eye view of the Holden Beach shoreline.
Unfortunately she was too young to have much recollection of that actual day, but according to her smile when I shared it with her; I think she remembers the feeling of being there.
To bring this ramble full-circle, I started to reminisce about my own childhood memories, primarily those that occurred on Holden Beach. Mind you I can’t claim to be a native, I was born and raised one island to the west (Ocean Isle), but as many Brunswick County children can claim…we did lots of island hopping in the summer months!
One of my personal favorites occurred during the summer of my 5th grade year. A dear friend of mine lived in home facing the Intracoastal not far from the current Town Hall. I used to live for the weekends when our parents agreed that I could sleep-over 2 nights in a row! This was one of those amazing weekends.
I’m sure her parents must have taken us to play putt-putt at some point…and fairly certain I recall a delicious scoop of ice-cream running down the side of my cheek (rainbow sherbet, was it?!)…but the memory that remains tucked in my mind with complete clarity happened the morning I was scheduled to go back home.
My friend and I raced to the shoreline one last time to gather shells and get our feet wet in the tide pools. On our journey we discovered a swath of long, narrow shells like none we had ever seen before. I now know that these are razor shells/razor clams…but at the time, they looked like the best pair of Lee Press-on Nails an 11-year old girl could dream of! We gathered as many shells as we possibly could and carted them back to the house in the upturned hems of our t-shirts. Once the shells were washed and dried we proceeded to paint each razor shell with her mother’s bright pink nail polish and Krazy Glue them directly to our fingertips! We paraded around the living room like movie stars, proud of our discovery and artistic skill.
I’ll skip the part of the story that comes next…when her mom finds us…..and her empty bottle of Krazy Glue. It’s not pleasant – but sure does make for one heck of a funny Holden Beach memory!