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Welcome to the blog.

Hi, my name is Carol Ann Ross, and I am an author.

I live on beautiful Topsail Island on the North Carolina Coast. Life is good when you get to do what you love, and I love writing about the people who surround me and this island where I spend most of my time.

Through my writing, you will have the opportunity to explore some of the magic of this amazing place--and it is amazing. As a child it was my "never, never land"--as an adult it still is.

Here on the blog, you will find a variety of topics from beach posts, to writing tips and everything in between.  I invite you to follow along on this fascinating journey of a self-published author

By Carol Ann Ross

I was behind a school bus today and a thought occurred to me – a distinction between the teens of the fifties, sixties and seventies and the teens of today – During those decades teens were given a most important responsibility – driving a school bus. It carried our most precious assets – our children. Today this would never even be considered. Kids were more responsible and mature then than they are today. Why is that so? Anyway – this is a photo of the kids on bus 5 that ran the Surf City route. I remember, Donald Batts, Audry…

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By Carol Ann Ross

This is a photo of the old pontoon bridge that was used for access to Topsail back in the 1940s. I wish I could have been around then to experience that. My brother remembers it but I was too young. It was not until early 1956 that the swing bridge (still in use and which locals are trying desperately to save) came in to use. The berm had been built up and in 1954 the section there at Sear’s Landing was almost completed and ready for the bridge but Hurricane Hazel came along and destroyed everything so the new bridge…

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By Carol Ann Ross

I never did very well in science when I was in high school or in college. But I know there is a reason why the ocean looks differently in Summer and Winter, in Spring and Fall. But those of us that grew up living by the ocean can probably look at a photo of the ocean and tell what season it was taken. Yep – the photo above was taken just a few days ago. Ain’t it pretty. I guess the reason I’m posting this is that it reminds me of the nuances, the subtleties that occur in life –…

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By Carol Ann Ross

Went down to the south end of Topsail this past weekend – absolutely beautiful – looking much as the island did before so much development. T’was good for the soul and since I’m writing about a time when the island looked like this picture, it was very helpful. A friend of mine and her two grandchildren came along – they forgot the coolness of the water and ventured on to low tide islands and rolled down sand dunes. I watched as the boy let his feet sink into the sand before taking a step forward – a game I had…

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By Carol Ann Ross

Geez – this was so long ago – late 50s perhaps. My sister is helping me take a photo – doesn’t look like I’m too interested.   I’m adding this picture because it was taken near to the time I am writing about, the late 1950s. I pull myself into a place I barely remember and try to conjure up the feel and smell of that time. Surrounding myself with the music and photos of that time helps. Ah, life is sweet.   I’ve spent most of the day working on the second book in my trilogy THE TRILL OF THE…

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By Carol Ann Ross

The first fishing pier on Topsail Island was Surf City Fishing Pier – as far as I can determine, Barnacle Bill’s was the second – it came about in either ’56 or ’57 –  It was owned by a group of investors, but Lewis Williamson ran the pier for several years. The place offered all kinds of things for everyone to do – fishing, games, food, beach access – every summer there was a lifeguard on duty at the pier. It was definitely the place for families to go,  This picture was taken during the early 1960s  – during fishing…

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Topsail in the 1930s

By Carol Ann Ross

This is what the island looked like in the 1930s. WOW! I wasn’t around then, but I do remember when the northern part of Topsail resembled this. There were practically no houses. One of the favorite past times for many of the people (especially wives) was to drive the length of the island. I remember riding with my mom and going mile after mile and passing nothing but sand and an occasional house. In the 60s McKee’s Fishing Pier was built at the north end. That was a big deal. Wish I had a picture of that!

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Hurricane Donna

By Carol Ann Ross

As a child I carried around a little Brownie camera  and took pictures of various things. The above picture is of Barnacle Bill’s after Hurricane Donna. The bottom picture is a picture of the flooding caused by Donna. The date at the top of the pictures is the date they were printed. Often I kept one roll of film in my camera for months.

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By Carol Ann Ross
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By Carol Ann Ross

Another bit of history about Topsail Island. Many I know are all ready aware that the military installed the pontoon bridge in 1940. But did you know that the status of one’s tail pipe was contingent on the tide? When crossing the bridge extremely high or low tide could cause one’s rear end to slam against the pavement.  No wonder the islanders were happy to see the new swing bridge installed in 1956.

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