Portfolio: Nags Head

Nags Head is just such a place, and the memory of it pulls people to it like the tides.

Summer Nostalgia

But I don’t remember that as much I do the casualness of the time, filled with playing with whomever was around, napping on the sidewalk, and catching lightning bugs while the adults...

Summer in the Broken Home

I grew up at 527 East High Street, five blocks east of the capitol, three blocks south of the Missouri River. This river was not made for swimming or boating, just commerce and cholera,...

Summer Loss

Leslie’s loss feels like the worst kind of summer; like an oppressive, heavy, unbearably uncomfortable August; like you can’t breathe, like the bright sun isn’t pleasant at all, but...


My mama would say to kill a cricket is a sin against the night.

A Fair Dixie Classic

The week of the Dixie Classic became like a feast and holy festival, consecrating the idea of home, of where I thought I belonged.

Summers on the Cape

The changing tides have always been a clock for me. The rising and falling waters, the exposed then submerged sandbars oriented our day outdoors as we floated on rafts at high tide or rode...

Sambo and Miss Harvey—My Neighborhood’s Gift

One might say ours was the most ordinary of southern residential neighborhoods, but as I reflect now, a half-century later, Samuel Mockbee and Virginia Shine Harvey made it extraordinary....

Getting Away from it All

For a few days or weeks each year, this was our real world. We were learning real things, like how to make sassafras tea, how to identify poison ivy (and not to mistakenly brew tea from...

The Bounty of Dirt

“It was the smell of the dirt,” I said, surprising even myself. “I missed the smell of South Carolina farm dirt. It doesn’t smell the same anywhere else in the world.”

Summer, more than any other time of year, is the memory-making season. So it is appropriate that this Labor Day issue looks back at summers gone by, days ago or decades ago, and their power to evoke indelible images. Whether it is the scent of freshly-picked peaches or the first sharp whiff of ocean air that prompts our contributors’ Proustian madeleine moment, their stories and images will arouse your own.