Thursday, June 22, 2017

Greetings from Wink's

Wink's is as central to Kitty Hawk's vibe as narrow beaches and one-story houses.

The beach store has been around at least since I was a kid, back in the days when there were no real grocery stores on the Outer Banks so my Mom had to pack (metal) coolers with all the meat we'd need for a two-week stay.

If we asked why we couldn't just get meat from Wink's, she'd look at us with horror and ask, "Green meat?" with a mix of revulsion and disbelief at our naivete.

She wasn't above buying milk, eggs and local tomatoes there and god knows my family bought enough postcards, Fireballs and Tootsie Rolls to do our part, but not a lot more.

As a teenager trying to navigate the junior high school world with no older sister to turn to, I spent my money at Wink's on teen magazines for beauty tips and Nutty Buddys for my soul. I've purchased the Washington Post on a near daily basis at Wink's some years. In emergency situations, I could run to Wink's (a mere 7/10ths of a mile) and score an overpriced and under-sized box of pasta or jar of oil to finish a meal.

But never have I, in a lifetime of dropping by Wink's at least once per visit, purchased palazzo pants at Wink's.

All that changed tonight when a palazzo pant-wearing friend and I stopped by for a postcard. A woman milling about near the back spotted my friend's fabulous pants and raved. Her admiration was natural: she, too, was wearing palazzo pants.

I was likely witnessing the only palazzo pant meet-up happening in North Carolina tonight.

She led my friend over to a nearby rack that held nothing but palazzo pants in every color, stripe and pattern imaginable. With intent written all over her face, she reached into the palazzo profusion and pulled out a pair of black and white patterned palazzo pants and held them up for inspection.

"You've got the height," she told my 6'2" friend like it was news. "These would look fabulous on you!"

It wasn't even sales hype, it was simply fact. She held them up against her long legs. The deliciously wide bells rang from long, fitted pant legs like harvest gold and avocado green were back in style and it was the '70s again.

It wouldn't matter what color top you put with these pants, the result would be striking and complementary.

Over the decades, I've bought sunscreen and bread at Wink's. I've mailed letters and postcards there, hell, when I was a kid you could even have your friends write you in care of Wink's and pick up your mail there.

But never, over the course of this human's life, have I seen palazzo pants purchased at Wink's. We're a long way from green meat, Toto.

I can see the t-shirt now: "My friend went to Wink's and got palazzo pants and all I got was this lousy 1961 postcard."


  1. Do they still have the 1961 post cards that show empty fields around Winks?

  2. Sure do! It's a classic! I've sent it myself plenty of times.