I was two, asleep near the Pier. There are hundreds of photos like this from four decades of life. My favorite ones now aren’t of me, but of P & H sleeping in the same way, on the same beach, near the same Pier.
#HurricaneFlorence has devastating potential to put the whole area underwater. But you know what? She can’t take away the memories.
My grandfather built our seaside cement cottage on Atlantic Ave in the 40’s. The Grantham family has had close to eighty years in Kure — no storm ever made those cinder blocks move.
My dad taught me to coastal fish on this beach. I think I was five. My ponytail still had a ribbon.
Every year my three brothers and I were dragged out of twin beds to walk to Easter morning sunrise service. 5:45am.
I used to watch dad order a breakfast sausage toast sandwich with mustard and a side of grits at the greasy food place next to the Pier. Southern to the core.
His ashes are in Kure’s ocean.
So are my mom’s.
They both have memorial fish plaques on the boardwalk. Different locations because they were divorced, but they both loved the area and it made sense to remember them near the shore.
My brothers learned to surf there.
My youngest brother — still in diapers — once ate a cockroach as it crawled across his leg in our sandy shack.
In high school, I’d do morning beach runs to train for field hockey. The Pier to Atlantic Towers was three miles, round-trip.
Another brother had college parties in the cottage. But he’s also the one who for Father’s Day, surprise-installed a ceiling fan on the screened-in porch.
My grandparents played Rummy on that porch. They had a running tally of victories. She was ahead by about 80 games.
I got married there. At a gazebo. A picturesque beach wedding.
We first took Parker at 5-weeks old. It’s where she has become a mermaid and learned to Boogie Board.
It’s where baby Hutch swallowed sand and now jumps waves with fierceness.
Kure is my beach, and yours. It’s ours. It’s all of North Carolina’s. Just like Wrightsville and Oak Island and the coastal towns up to Corolla and Kitty Hawk and south to Sunset. We’re all impacted.
She’s a nasty storm, but stories in a soul can never be washed away.