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New Read: Whortonsville Yacht and Tractor Club
First On T-Shirts, Now A Book
August 28, 2016
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The WYTC may have been based at his marina, but Nick Santoro says the hub of Whortonsville was Miss Winky’s store near the end of Lupton Rd leading to Point Marina. Kathleen “Winky” Slade’s store was the only one for miles around. The coffee was instant, the creamer a powder, the sandwiches encased in cello with a Stewart label. There were community parties – alcohol free.

The building still stands but Miss Winkie’s closed her store there over a decade ago. With that, “the feeling of camaraderie seems to have diminished,” Santoro says. “A lot of people have died and others have moved. The store was the center of town. It was here people went to find out what was going on. When that closed, that went away. People that settled here in the late 80s and early 90s are mostly gone.”

And so, the spark to write the book. “A hundred years from now, what I have written may be a vague memory. In a subway car, you can be with the same people taking the same trip each day, but not know any of them. Whortonsville is like a subway car, but you have a whole different relationship with the other people on the car. You know everybody and everything about them. I have tried to present that atmosphere of the town.”

The early reader was Miss Winky herself. “When the book was read to Miss Winkie, she loved it. Just seeing her reaction was wonderful. She was part of the motivation for doing the book.”

“The thing I hope comes through is that life is uncertain and you have to take responsibility for it and take control of the tiller; control the direction that you choose; work hard at pursuing your goals; it may be bleak; you may not get there easily, but it worked for me.”

Nick Santoro, at home in Whortonsville, reflects on the transformation of his life from Manhattan to rural Pamlico County.
“I wanted to try to try to describe the problem young people face when confronting an uncertain world. Back in the day where I came from, you went to college, got out of college, and did what job you could, either related or unrelated to what you studied. You fell into a slot, and 30 years later, you were working on a job that you couldn’t wait until the clock ran out.”

“Not enough thought in school is given to teach students to be conscious of more things, to teach them to constantly be on vigil in pursuing a path for those things that have meaning, and to teach them to seek what that is rewarding personally, rather than pursue a slot that is simply a luck of the draw.”

“Hitch your star to a wagon, and that way you can make a bigger difference for yourself and the world.”

“My take from people that have read it is that they have enjoyed it, but I feel they have enjoyed it more for stories of the characters than for the greater philosophical statement that I was making.”

The first edition of “The Whortonsville Yacht and Tractor Club,” a 208-page work labeled as historical fiction, is limited to 200 copies. The self-published book can be purchased at the Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce office in Grantsboro, the Inland Waterway Provision Company in Oriental, and online:

Future plans include a discussion of providing the book in an electronic version for sale on Amazon and the possibility of audio tapes.

WYTC Book dark burgee
The WYTC burgee glows in the dark.
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Posted Sunday August 28, 2016 by Melinda Penkava

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