Monday, September 6, 2010

Chincoteague Island, Virginia. October 2009

City Marina

Like all young girls, I fell in love with Marguerite Henry and her horse books especially Misty of Chincoteague. I read and re-read the story of the Beebe family, Pony Penning Days and, of course, Misty.

I am fortunate enough that Chincoteague and Assateague Islands are just seven hours away from Greensboro. I’ve been there three times – always during the off-season when the island is quiet and peaceful. To stand on the sidewalks of the small downtown area is to go back to how it must have been when Marguerite Henry first visited in 1946. With the exception of the drawbridge, it remains the same.

Chincoteague Island’s residents still earn their living mostly by fishing. City Marina is where all the commercial boats tie up at night after being out on the Atlantic Ocean.


Carolina said...

I'm not familiar with the books/writer, although I've been a horsey girl all my life ;-)
Love the colours in this photo. I can imagine it's a special feeling to stand there and see the things you've read about so many times.

And I love that you say its just seven hours away from where you live. We'd be somewhere in France by then if we went by car and headed off southwards. Things here are never 'just' seven hours away. If you live in the centre part of the Netherlands, everything is a two hours drive away at the most. And still it's a hell of a long drive ;-)

Dan said...

The islands sound wonderful. Maybe not quite what I expected - they sound so isolated in the books.

Karen said...

Dan: Chincoteague today is nothing like the books. We wouldn't even consider going during season; during Pony Penning Week there are close to 50,000 tourist watching the activities. Mind you this is on a small island that has 4,000 inhabitants year-round. We go off-season and take a pontoon boat to Assateague to see the ponies. A much better way to go when the island is back to its sleepy ways.

Marguerite Henry wrote those books back in the 1940's to help bring tourism to a place that was impoverished and in danger of losing the natives to the mainland along with the ponies. She accomplished that and so much more. Sometimes I wonder if it is a case of "Be careful what you wish for."