This is another of the classic "Charlie Claude" stories, as related by him to my brother Mike and me one evening while we were clearing fish at Clayton Fulcher's fish house.
Beginning each spring at and around Easter, and speeding up rapidly after Memorial Day, the population of the Island can sometimes double on weekends and holidays. The infusion begins at mid-day on Friday, reaches its peak from Saturday to Sunday afternoon, and then all but disappears between Sunday evening and Monday morning.
Most of the visitors here expect and appreciate the low-keyed and sometimes even “slow motion” way of life that native Islanders maintain. But for some of them, especially when lines are slow and the temperatures are high, the slower pace of the natives can be frustrating and even annoying.
Such was the case one hot August Sunday afternoon at the checkout counter of Cab’s (The East’ard Variety Store). Most likely having been delayed at the marina, in the gas line, and then while waiting to check out, one exasperated visitor shouted loud enough for everyone to hear, “There are the most ignorant people on this Island that I have ever seen at one place and at one time!”
Just a few steps away, leaning against a drink cooler, Charlie Claude (Jones) both saw and heard the weary and impatient visitor to the little Island that had been his lifelong home. In a feigned effort to calm the irritated vacationer, Charlie slowly approached him with the consoling assertion, “You know you are probably right. But if you wait until tomorrow morning, almost all of ‘em will be gone!”