The Coastland Times, Manteo, N.C., published Friday, May 7, 1948
Here Is One Dare County “Ocean Highway” Its People Must Use Every Day in the Year
NO! This isn’t the proposed highway to Virginia Beach, the luxury road we are told will bring the millenium to Dare. This is a scene that happens often along the road by which travelers to and from Hatteras must be subjected constantly in transacting their affairs with the outside world.
The above picture was made one day last month just south of Oregon Inlet by Tom Grimes of Elizabeth City. There is no highway along the bare and difficult beach, and the bus driver at great risk to his equipment must resort to traveling along the ocean side, along the surf, where the sea washes up under the wheels, and sprays the gear with salt.
This is one of the occurrences that happen almost daily. The tide was rising, the sand was soft, the bus was stuck, the ocean sweeping in about it. The passengers had to get out, and by hard labor, lugged an old ocean pound net stake, 30 feet long, and as big as a telephone pole, to the scene. After strenuous work, they succeeded in prizing the bus from the quick-sand, and with old boards and wreckage under the wheels, at last got the vehicle out of the sea. Another 20 minutes and the bus would have been a total loss in the rising tide.
During the effort that was being made, one passenger, a retired Coat Guardsman, Bate Williams of Wanchese, was stunned when the heavy pole cracked down on his skull with temporary paralyzing effect.
And it is places like this that seem to be often forgotten when roads are asked for. While the 2,500 people who live in the Hatteras area suffer daily for the need of a road, new schemes are being hatched up. Talk about your ocean highway; Dare County already has one to Hatteras, but it has had no improvements since God made the world and turned it over to mankind. God is probably assumed of having done it. Man ought to be ashamed, too, that no real effort has been made to build this road to Rodanthe, and Hatteras, for here is the proof.
Praise to the Boys Who Have Kept the Bus Line Going
There are three boys from Rodanthe now living at Hatteras—Harold, Anderson and Stockton Midgett, who ought to have a monument of granite erected to their memory for their unceasing devotion to the cause of transportation for their people. They are the boys who have kept the bus line going for more than 10 years, despite the treacherous sands, the bitter winds, the salt sea which destroys their property. Theirs has been a great and tough battle against tremendous odds, but they are still going strong and after all the years of toil, are building a business that will be worth much in years to come. They paid dearly for it, and only out of the devotion to the dream of their father had of founding them a business, have they had the inspiration and courage to fight on. When mere lads, their father, the late Stockton Midgett of Rodanthe, thought up the idea for his boys.
And the folks of Hatteras Island have stuck with them, traveled on their bus in sickness and in health; in joy or in pain, battered and bruised year in and year out by the shaking up across the rough beaches.