Greetings from Carrboro,
It was a land yacht caravan. Pulling out of Charlotte early on Saturday morning, the Gibson’s Oldsmobile carried all the coolers and bags of groceries and the sheets and towels and suitcases and, well, Mom and Mrs. Gibson. Our shiny new 1975 Buick Station Wagon was the party car with all six of us kids in tow. The thing was huge; my brother and sister won a competition at their high school by fitting 19 teenagers in the car. Driving to the beach, the music was loud and on FM, the A/C cranked, and each of us luxuriated in the white pleather seats, putting our gum and candy wrappers in the shiny armrest ashtrays. My brother drove the whole way.
Once we got to Ocean Isle, the one and only occasion that we left our thematically named beach house, the Time ‘N Tide, was the annual culinary trek to Calabash for fried seafood. Somehow all eight of us were able to fit into the Buick. Seat belts, shmeat belts. Sitting in the way-back facing the rear window, I’d wave at people driving behind us.
There was no doubt that I preferred beach restaurants that had a pirate theme. They always had a treasure chest, someone with an eye-patch, and a “landlubbers” section of the menu with Salisbury steak and spaghetti. And, praise be to Blackbeard, unlimited hushpuppies and sweet tea in blue plastic Pepsi cups. Sugar intake was, by and large, not a resonant parental concern. For Mom, the important word in “free refills” was “free.” When the food arrived, there was an overwhelming flurry of ketchup and delectable fried things, the plastic dishes of cole slaw set aside as the food of last resort. I always purposely sat far enough away from my brother so that he couldn’t steal my shrimp. The meal was glorious.
And as July turns to August, could there be a better time for the Acme Staycation World Tour to go to the beach, Calabash-style? I don’t think so. Jars of pimento cheese and crab & artichoke dip with crackers to start things off. Then fried Carolina flounder, shrimp, and calamari with deviled crab and hushpuppies. Sliced local tomatoes, melon, cucumber, and onion. Cole slaw. Plenty of tartar sauce and cocktail sauce. To finish? Bill Smith’s famous Atlantic Beach Pie. And, you know, we just might have a sangria or two to go with all of that. Land yachts, though fun, are completely optional.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme