The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

THE NORMANS

During the five years that we lived in eastern North Carolina we became acquainted with many interesting people. One couple was the Normans, Russell and Mildred. In fact, we had apartments in the same house, at one time. Mildred, a few years earlier, had taught the school on Ocracoke Island, so you can be sure she had some interesting tales to tell. Russell was not an outstanding character, in fact, he was quite small of stature, and rather reserved. He was born and was reared down on the "Mill Pond", which was a small settlement in the Tidewater area only a short distance from "Pea Ridge".

The Pea Ridge area was another small settlement that was closer to the Albemarle Sound, and one that had produced some notable characters. Now, if you were not real well acquainted, down there, or were not accompanied by someone who belonged, you didn't remain very long after it got dark. It was not because the people were unfriendly or troublesome, it was just that they didn't like to have outsiders snooping around. Some of the residents might have been engaged in activities that could be frowned upon by narrow minded federal authorities.

It was only because I was a friend of Russell and didn't go down there unless I was with either Russell or Hope Harrison, who was also a citizen, that I was allowed to buy wine from Dack Patrick. Dack made some of the best Scuppernong wine that you ever tasted. It was a white wine with only a slight yellow tint that had a flavor and aroma that was out of this world. Dack had his own vineyard and Scuppernongs were the only grapes that he grew. He was a very demanding vintner and would swear that the only water that was in his wine was the dew that was on the grapes, when he picked them. If I remember correctly I paid a dollar a gallon for it.

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