Back in June 2003 we visited Carteret County on a beach vacation and my hunt for dead relatives. We chose the Langdon House just because it looked convenient to downtown Beaufort. One of the best features though was the innkeeper, Jimm Prest. Jimm grew up in Florida and went to college in Gainesville but we never held that against him. He was a fantastic innkeeper. His mother was from Beaufort and he bought the house andrenovated it to operate as a B&B.
You could tell Jimm loved his job. He met us on the porch, walked us to some rocking chairs with drinks in hand and really made us feel like he was at our call 24X7 for anything during the stay. His advice was always right on.
On our second trip to Carteret County in 2006 we discovered he was also a relative. Most of the people in the small community are related and since my family lived there for 300 years there was a good chance I was related to many of them. Still, it was nice to find out he had an interest in genealogy and he was surprised I had his ancestors in my database. For the record, we were not close relations, 8th cousins are probably so far off they wouldn't print on the same page of the family tree.
One of the best memories was when we left to drive home last time we were there. We told Jimm we were leaving early and it would be too early for breakfast. He said he would put some coffee on for us late at night and we could get a cup for the road. The next morning there was no coffee and no sign of anyone awake so we packed the car and started to leave. It was raining as we pulled out and about a block away I noticed in the rear view mirror a big man running in back of the car. Jimm had already been up and fixed us a special breakfast and packed in a box with some poetry written for his "friends." He hadn't heard us until we started the car so didn't know we were leaving until he saw the car pulling out. He ran after us in the rain to make sure we had breakfast.
This week I called Langdon House to make a reservation for our trip to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse 150th Anniversary and was very sad to find out Jimm had passed away last year. He had a heart attack and died at the house. His widow Lizzet is still running the B&B so we are still going to stay there, but it probably won't be the same.