Our family was introduced to John and Emily Terry and Murmuring Surf in the 1970's by my business partner, Rufus Ross, and his wife Carolyn of Columbia, TN, who had been vacaioning there for years. The first year that we went, our two sons were somewhat doubtful of our decision to stay out in the booneys, six miles away from miniature golf, water parks, and civilization, with almost nothing in sight except sand and surf (and the Museum of the Sea and the Indian, across the road). They envisioned a week of boredom and nothing to do. Indeed, whether you looked up or down the beach, there was very little evidence of oher humans for miles.
Thankfully, it wasn't long before the other guests started arriving. Although most of the names now escape me, there was an insurance gentleman from Mississippi or Texas??? another fellow from Kenner, LA, who always cooked up a huge pot of jambalya on the first day there, and the Heidi family, who owned a candy company in New Jersey. The Heidi's children matched up pretty well in age with our boys, which solved the potential problem of boredom. Thereafter, every trip to "the middle of nowhere" was anticipated with excitement. As soon as we arrived at Murmuring Surf, our boys immediately started checking to see if the Heidi's had arrived yet The Terry's had their own wood-working shop next to their residence, and John, and his son, John, made good use of that facility. One result was that there was a plentiful inventory of beach chairs and chaise lounges, both on the beach and on the dunes above, by the cottages. You didn't have to haul your own beach furniture from home, and you didn't have to worry about finding an available chair. In addition, there was a shaded gazebo on the beach, which was greatly appreciated by my parents when they vacationed with us. The days were filled with constant activity, including body-surfing, building sand castles, football games on the beach (with players ranging from six to sixty, crabbing, and swimming out to the sand bar, where you could dive for sand dollars by the hundreds. As the sun descended toward the end of day, the beach chairs were pulled into a circle where the adults enjoyed thingytails, as the sun set slowly in the west. At this time of day, Emily often took on the role of a Pied Piper, as she led the children down the beach with crabbing nets and flashlights. The gentleman from Kenner would bring his huge pot of jambalya to the beach that first evening to serve everyone there, and when the party ended, he would divide the remaining jambalya up, wrap it in individual aluminum foil packets, and distribute it to all the guests to take back to their cottages to snack on for the rest of the week. For those of us who did not have the convenience of having a vacation home that served as a family gathering place on the beach or in the mountains, Murmuring Surf served that purpose, and provided us with the wonderful experience of many vacations with a large extended family.
In the late 1980's we moved from Tennessee to Huntsville, AL, and our vacation trips also relocated to the Redneck Riviera. Since then, most of our vacations have involved enjoyable beach trips, but they somehow have never had the same feel as a week at Murmuring Surf. Our best wishes to the Terry family! Thanks for the memories! Bill, Sylvia, and Bill and John Lightfoot