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A Beach Reunion

A Beach Reunion

In the 1950s, after Hurricane Hazel almost cleared Ocean Isle Beach [in October 1954], Odel Williamson offered ocean front lots for $1,500 if you promised to build within two years. My parents and two of their friends from Charlotte bought lots on the east end of the island as that is where the two-car ferry and pier were originally located.

Through the years, we filled the four-bedroom, two-bath home to the brim with family and friends. Some of my fondest memories were of the Betts Family Reunions where my father, his parents, siblings, cousins, dog Friskie and cat Honey Cat all gathered, as seen in the photo. The laughter still resounds in my head and I’m so thankful to my parents for building these enduring relationships.

We ate pounds of shrimp from Holden Brothers or Sheffields, had watermelon spitting contests off the back deck and enjoyed my grandmother’s mouth-watering sponge cake. Lunch was a loaf of bread and jars of peanut butter and jelly left on the table.

We had no TV, so puzzles, card games, even studying the encyclopedia questions for an end-of-the-week quiz and prize were our evening entertainment. A trip to Shallotte or Myrtle Beach was a true highlight.

My father taught me how to float over the waves and instilled in me a deep love and respect for the ocean. More than once I had my face rubbed in the sand but went back for more! I am still always on the lookout for sea creatures that I don’t want to come in contact with and am happy to say that, so far, so good!

A lot has changed since that time, one of the three original homes is gone. It gave way to a beautiful new place complete with an elevator. I can only hope it can house as many wonderful heartwarming memories as ours has for so many years.

Marianna Betts Rothschild, Atlanta, a member of Brunswick Electric 

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