Sundays were always pretty predictable when I was a kid. My mom would get us up so we could get ready to go to Sunday school and Church. Once we were up, we would get breakfast and then she would prepare a large roast with just salt and pepper, wrap it up in Reynolds Wrap and put it in the oven at about 250 degrees. We would leave for Sunday school and let that roast just slow roast from about 9 a.m. until somebody could get back to the house after church to pick it up.
I can’t really tell you much about Sunday school back then… it really didn’t seem to hold my attention much. There was a ping pong table at the church and I did play a lot of ping pong but I don’t know that I really developed a real strong faith in anything. Church was a bit different… I was an acolyte when I was really young… lighting the candles what seemed like every Sunday. It was kinda fun getting to play with fire in the church though. Once I got too old to do that, I would be the usher in the balcony… collected the money during the offertory. It was a bit weird. I would sit there during the service prior to the collection activity and think about what pattern I would use to work my way around the balcony collecting the money. Once that was completed I would just get lost in thoughts about what the rest of the day would hold for me…
So the service was over, we would head back to the house and get the roast to take it over to my grandmother’s house for lunch. By the time we got there quite often my aunts, uncles and cousins would be there so there would be a crowd for sure. The kids would get to get our food first. The reason for that was so we could get out of the kitchen so that the adults could sit at the table and we all could head to the kids table set up in the other room.
Once we had finished eating we would quickly clean up, run back to the house and change into our bathing suits and grab towels and chairs and head down to a small beach on the Albemarle Sound called Sandy Point. I don’t remember exactly how much you had to pay but I think it was like a buck or two per person to get in. They also had a small camp ground where people would come and stay over night or maybe even for a week I guess. We never stayed there over night but I always thought that would have been so cool. There was a snack bar and a game room with a pool table and a jukebox. Every time I hear “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry, I think about that place. So many of my family and friends would show up down there and we would hang out and play in the surf. Some times my uncle would bring his boat and we would go for short boat rides too. We would hang out there until the sun would start to set and then we would pile back into the car and make the trek back to Elizabeth City. I don’t remember the trips back because I would be asleep before we even got out of the parking lot. Oh don’t I wish I could sleep like that again!