SHORE THING: Gossip Gets a Bad Rap
By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
January 28, 2013
It could be argued that Cape Charles doesn’t need a newspaper, because one stroll through town is usually enough to learn about everything that’s going on.
Maybe so, but if you drive instead of walk, or live out of town, you’re going to miss out on some of the news.
And with the weather as it’s been for the last two weeks — first rain, then snow, and for the moment still freezing cold — you don’t see many walkers, and you don’t hear as much news.
So there is some justification for a newspaper, and even for a “gossip column.”
The word “gossip” gets a bad rap. The archaic meaning of a “gossip” was a friend — somebody who knew you well enough to pass on the good stuff — meaning the REAL news.
So, friends, let me tell you about my walk through town the day before it started raining, which was two Mondays ago. If you live in town maybe you already know this, but half our readers are out-of-towners.
My first stop was at Sullivan’s, which of course is the number-one spot where news not only is heard but also made. I asked Mike if he had a scanner power supply I needed. He didn’t, but that brought me into contact with Jay’s barber shop across the hall.
Jay asked me if I had any good news (he meant JUICY news), and I asked him the same thing. If your barber doesn’t know, nobody knows.
I say barber, because I go to get my hair “cut.” Women go to get their hair “done,” but it’s all the same — whoever works on your hair knows the news.
Vance Lewis popped in, and I took the opportunity to chide him for pulling down the Ewell’s Furniture sign, leaving a blank frame. WRONG, Vance said — he had just put up his own sign, which you’ve already seen unless you don’t live here, in which case just look at the photo above.
As everybody knows, Vance’s father Frank, our former mayor (who just celebrated a birthday), has retired and sold Ewell’s Furniture to his son. Frank used to work six days a week at the store, but now that he’s retired he’s cut back to five.
That’s pretty big news for Cape Charles: Ewell’s Furniture, which had that name even before Frank bought it however many decades ago, is now Vance’s Furniture.
But there’s more, courtesy of Watson’s Hardware, which may not make as much news as Sullivan’s but does an even better job of spreading it.
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I asked Chip what was happening to the former Best Nest furnishings store, which if you have a pulse you already know has moved to Virginia Beach.
Chip said that John and Honey were moving Gull Hummock into Best Nest. Now that was news! A store on Mason Avenue doing well enough to expand.
A quick stop in the Gull Hummock wine & cheese shop confirmed everything. The old store will close after Valentine’s Day and reopen in a greatly enlarged space the beginning of March.
So what about the old Gull Hummock shop? In a game of musical stores, Boytos & Boytos Homes is moving from 223 Mason to 213 Mason.
That’s still a deficit, with Best Nest gone. But then Chip took me in to see Mark, who was busy fixing up the former Cape Charles Realty storefront. Turns out that Mark and his wife, new transplants to King’s Creek Landing, are opening a jewelry shop featuring imports from Mexico. That suggests to me that the new shop won’t be a direct competitor with the high-end products at Meredith’s Moonrise Jewelry or the local handcrafted wares at Karen’s Beachglass and Stories.
So Mason Avenue loses one shop but gains a new one plus another expanded one. Which brings us back to Sullivan’s. A couple of weeks ago we reported that a business was pulling out of one of the Sullivan suites. We didn’t say who, but everybody probably knows by now that Brady is moving his very successful web design firm to Charlottesville.
I thought Dora might not appreciate our printing the bad news, so I was pretty surprised when she thanked me. Turns out that somebody read the story, called Dora, and immediately rented the space. I should know more than that, but the weather’s been bad and I haven’t gotten out and about much recently.
This is probably as good a time as any to explain how this column got the name SHORE THING. Back when I was still so new in town that I hadn’t started getting my hair cut at Jay’s Mane Station, I was trying to figure out when the place was actually open. (If you’re a woman, or don’t live here, the answer is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-12 noon Mondays.)
Finally getting my first haircut, I noticed that Jay has a sign INSIDE his shop in the back suite at Sullivan’s showing his hours of operation. I asked him why he didn’t put the sign out front where people could see it. “I did,” Jay said, “but it kept falling down.”
I told him I’d been trying for a long time to figure out when the shop was open. “Why didn’t you ask Dora,” Jay said. Which made perfect sense, and in fact was what I finally had done.
Later I told Dora about my conversation with Jay and the sign. Dora’s response was:
“It’s a Shore Thing.”
SHORE THING is an occasional feature of the Cape Charles Wave.