It was along the North Carolina coast in 1992, shortly after Easter on a sunny morning with blue skies and a freshening breeze. Altogether a delight. The seabirds circled overhead with seabird cries as our motorhome pulled first in line to the Ocracoke ferry. My wife Bev, her sister Nancy, and her sister’s husband John, my brother-in-law, were all in fine fettle. Two and a half hours to Cedar Point. It was almost thirty-five years since we had married, a year apart, in suburban Philadelphia.
John worked in construction in Virginia Beach, and I as a northern California surgeon. We knew politics, natural history, real estate and art. We talked about the Vietnam War (there were some good things about it, too), excoriated politics and politicians, cursed our golf swings, and considered the “wrongs” about everyone’s “rights.” We agreed that we disliked fanatics (anyone with only one view for all), lobbyists, and evangelists. We talked about the positives of each generation being better off in many ways than their predecessors, and of the value of increased awareness in society. But most of all, we didn’t talk, we ate.
It was pure heaven for the Californians; fresh crabs caught that morning and steamed alive. I felt sorry for them, but John said that these little critters were born to be the measure of culinary excellence. We dipped them in warm butter and followed with French bread and chardonnay wine. As the satiation of the tastiest morsels in god’s creation merged with yesteryear’s talk, the easy pitch of the boat, the fine wine and the ocean breezes of that clear, sunny morning, it was like a fantasy, a sensual indulgence. The journey ended too soon on that spring day on the Ocracoke Ferry.