Friendly folks, fried chicken and collards

Published 5:45 pm Monday, June 6, 2022

Looking from the bridge at the blue water on the Pamlico River and the overall scenic view, Washington it appears to be a small village.  Since Washington was founded in 1776 it has been a hustling community with ship-building being a large part of the economic success.  At one time, Castle Island was the largest builder of ships that floated the Pamlico and Tar Rivers.  The island itself was bustling with ship building.  Now it is simply used for boating and sandbar parties.

The people make Washington the town that it is today.  The kind people who always wave and say nice things to those who visit are what makes me proud to say that Washington is my hometown.  There was a time when we never locked our car doors or our homes and it was kept cool by exhaust fans bringing in the cool air.

We were never afraid to drink water from a hose or someone’s water bottle in their refrigerator.  A ketchup sandwich was a delicacy for lunch until the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was created and then along came the banana sandwich!  You could mash bananas up into peanut butter and that was a delicacy.

We were talking the other night about how our mothers cooked.  One person, Val Johnson, said his mother fried the best chicken he had ever eaten.  Brenda Hardy replied that her mother was the best cook.  I have news for both that my mother could cook anything and my father taught her. Dad was the best cook on the Robinson side, especially collard greens.  He could take potatoes and boil them until they were soft, mash them up, pour pot liquor and mix the collards up. He called it a mash-up!  It was so good!

There was a time that living was good in our town!  Life was easy and we did not have a worry in the world.  There was a store on every corner and parents had a charge account at most, so if you wanted a Pepsi-Cola, you could just charge it and bring the money later.  Raymond Jolley was the store of choice for me growing up and Mr. Raymond always wore that smile.

Yes, the people make any town and mine is no different.  It was not the industry but the people and how good they were.  Always trying to help others and if someone was sick, we carried them food so they did not have to cook.  That is right; I love my hometown and hope other towns are as friendly as Washington!

Please forgive me, this has been a culmination of thoughts and I have skipped around from thought to thought.  It will be better next week if you will decide to read my article again. Thanks, and please forgive me!

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

Harold Jr.