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Does anyone remember the name of a certain seafood restaurant in White Lake, NC? I'm not sure if the building is still there, but I remember eating there as a child. The restaurant was located not too far from the old Scotchman store. Try as I may, I can't seem to remember the name of the place. The building itself was fairly small and plain, painted in brown and off-white colors. The parking lot was rather sandy, and located in a thick patch of pine trees.

When I was a child, my family would eat at this place whenever we took a quick trip to White Lake. For a farming family living in Wayne County, White Lake was a fairly easy drive. We would usually leave home late in the day on Friday (after all the work was done), and arrive at our Bladen County destination just before dark. We would eat seafood for dinner, and I was always excited about my upcoming Saturday in the water. We usually only stayed a night or two, and dad would still occasionally drive back home for a few hours to check on the barns while the rest of us stayed at the lake.

Every now and then, we would take a slightly longer vacation and head down to Myrtle Beach. For a small town kid, the bright lights of the Pavilion were a site to behold. I have distinct memories of the old "haunted house ride"- the one with the big mechanical skeleton head and arms. Many of you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. That thing used to give me nightmares. We recently took our son down to old Pavilion site. Most of the original rides are now gone. It made me realize how much older I've become.

When I was my son's age, Dad would always take me pretty far out in the ocean. He was a good swimmer, and in those days people worried more getting sunburned than drowning in a rip current. You've heard the old saying that "ignorance is bliss"? Sometimes it's true. Sometimes, ignorance can kill you. Rip currents are narrow channels of water that can sometimes develop in the presence of sandbars & "weak spots", or near structures such as jetties & piers. Rip currents flow away from the shoreline, sometimes at very high speed. The picture below shows an aerial view of a rip current. Note how the water flows out to sea. If a swimmer were to venture into this channel, he could quickly be pulled far away from shore.

Rip currents are usually relatively narrow, which means that you can escape if you remember to swim parallel to shore (and subsequently out of the current). The best advice is to avoid rip currents altogether. The photo below shows how a rip current may look to an observer on the beach. Note the break in the incoming wave pattern and slight difference in color. These can be tell-tale signs that can save your life.

The bottom line is simple. Enjoy the beach, but always be aware of your surroundings. Rip currents can occur at anytime, and they can be deadly. On a lighter note, does anyone remember the name of that restaurant in White Lake?

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By: Jerry Jackson