• 57°

What draws us back home

The Pamlico River is like a magnet to many of us. It has drawn us back home after many years of being away from Washington, and we are so glad to be here. There is no place like home, and the older we get, the more that means to us.

For me, the river was calling, and I really wanted to return to see the beautiful sunsets and the opportunities the river offered me. On a cool, crisp fall afternoon, watching the sunset is something Tracey and I have really enjoyed while fishing off of our pier. We are not the only ones who have been drawn home because of the Pamlico. Oh, for one month of the year (hurricanes), it may not be the happiest place to live, but the other 11 months are worth it.

Sharon Whitehurst (Wall), Bill Nolley, Mike Renn, Keith Roach, Aleta Hill (Neal) Gayle Gautier, Lee Parker, Val and Franny Johnson, Coach Houston and Sally all have been brought back to Washington, to name only a few. I wish more would return, and if I have left some out, please forgive me. There are many who have moved to our city because of the river from other places that have no river. They, too, enjoy the life on the river and the advantages it offers to them and their families.

Oh, I could not begin to tell you the fun all of us have had on the river during our childhood. It was a place we all wanted to be, and if we moved away, we wanted to return, sooner than later.

We returned because of our love for Washington and to have the opportunity to share our time with friends we grew up with. What we found was our friends had families and lives of their own, and we had to make new friends. In Washington, that is not a problem. Everyone waves at others and a smile usually accompanies the wave. It has always been that way and even growing up, it was a friendly place to live and raise a family. What I have found is that people in other classes above and below mine have now become my friends. My high school class has become stronger over the years, but we have other opportunities now after 50-plus years.

Still, the memories linger, and I would not trade my memories of growing up in a small town for anything! Memories of the fire siren going off at noon and 5 p.m. every day; Uncle Bonnie having his oyster roast in his backyard; china ball trees; catching turtles in the town ditch; Junior-Senior prom; The Parrish House dances; Mrs. Carver’s; baseball trips with Burger, Phil, Don, Tommy, Bobby and Joe. (I would love to see Joe Stalls again, just to see if he could still hit a baseball as far as he used to.) There was always something to do; if not, we made something to do up.

That was the beauty of growing up on the Pamlico, we used our imaginations. Being called a “river rat” is a title I will always cherish. Watching the sunset over the waters of the Pamlico in all of God’s glory is something we should never take for granted!

It is my hope that younger generations feel the same way that older generations feel about their hometown. It has been good to us, and it will be good to you if you allow it. Take time to make friends and cherish their value because they will be friends of yours for life. Mine have been, and I would not trade the memories they have brought me. Thank you all!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.