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Wilbur & Jo Ko

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 04:20
While perusing old newspapers I came across this article from August 2, 1974 in the Carolina Beachcomber:


















"This cover is a new print offered by Jo Ko, resident artist at Ocracoke, and the subject is alive and well at Corkey's Grocery. Wilbur Gaskill is his name and his mother is the oldest woman living on Ocracoke Island.

"Wilbur exclaimed, "I love it here!" He agreed to pose for picture-taking at Silver Lake Harbor, the setting for many of Jo Ko's popular drawings.

"As we were getting things set up for photographs, a couple of Wilbur's friends walked by and observed, 'You just whittle anywhere, don't you Wilbur.'

'Wilbur has a bucket full of knives and is constantly buying new ones. 'It doesn't take long to wear one out carving as many birds as I do. I can't keep up with the customers. I carve seven or eight different kinds: Canadian goose, pelican, seagull, black skimmer, mallard, pintail and oyster catcher,' Wilbur said."

Joe ("Jo Ko") & Esther Koch, 1974
Wilbur Gaskill, 1974


































Wilbur was 68 years old when he died in 1980. Jo Ko died in March of 2012, just short of his 105th birthday.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.  
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

July Birthdays

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 05:15
Lou Ann's birthday is today. She shares this birthday month with at least nine other island friends.


















On Sunday evening we hosted a July Birthdays Potluck Dinner Party.  The house was overflowing with people and scrumptious island delicacies -- boiled shrimp, corn casserole, baked pork, southern coleslaw, homemade bread, deviled eggs, rhubarb pie, and much more.














Happy Birthday, Lou Ann...and everyone else, both on the island & off, who is celebrating a July Birthday!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.  
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Newsletter -- Ocracoke Crab Festival

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 04:20
For six years...1984-1989...Ocracoke village hosted a Crab Festival in early May. There were contests -- fastest crab picking, tastiest crab recipes, crab pot pulling...and, of course, crab races! A King & Queen were crowned, as locals and visitors listened to down-home music, danced, watched jugglers & magicians, and browsed booths set up by artists and craftspeople.















But the highlight was steamed crabs...almost 2,000 pounds of delicious steamed crab meat...and kegs of beer.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a report on the Ocracoke Crab Festival. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Pirate Jamboree

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 04:05
This message recently in:

"Chart your course to Ocracoke Island for Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree and a weekend of swashbuckling fun."

The event is scheduled for October 31 - November 2, 2014

"Canons will roar as members of Blackbeard's Pirate Crew invade Ocracoke Island by sea, featuring a three-ship battle in Ocracoke Harbor!













"Take part in a treasure hunt, enjoy pirate activities throughout the village, send the kids to Scallywag School and indulge in hearty safarers grub and grog while you shop at the scandalous pirate markets and spend your doubloons on arts, crafts, and pirate gear.


















"Join in the Fun!   Pirate Costumes Encouraged!"















More information at www.PirateJamboree.com.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ocracoke Wildlife & Arthur

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 05:00
Islanders and visitors often wonder how the Ocracoke ponies, bird & sea turtle nests, and other wildlife manage during and after a major hurricane.













Joycelyn Wright, chief biotechnician for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, has written an informative article for the Ocracoke Current. You can read it here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/91327.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shrimp...

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 04:37
...and clams, all fresh from Pamlico Sound.


















Stop by Fat Boys Seafood on Lighthouse Road most days between 3 o'clock and 6:30 to purchase the fixin's for your seafood dinner.  James Barrie Gaskill, or his wife Ellen, is usually there to serve you, and to offer tips about how to prepare your meal. You might even get James Barrie to tell you the story of the Coast Guardsman who thought he'd arrived at the end of the world when he was stationed on the coast of North Carolina.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Maurice Ballance

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 05:13
Today at 1 pm the Ocracoke Community will gather at the United Methodist Church to celebrate the life of Maurice Ballance.

Maurice was born on the island 87 years ago, and died last Friday, July 11, at his home. Maurice was a retired port captain with the NC Ferry Division, and had worked as a commercial fisherman and carpenter (he often worked barefooted!). He had a keen mind, and a native's appreciation for his heritage and island history.

Maurice played guitar, and loved music. He entertained islanders frequently, especially with Edgar Howard before Edgar's death.

Edgar & Maurice, courtesy OPS














As a tribute to Maurice, several years ago Ocracoke village named one of our streets for him.














Maurice Ballance's obituary is available here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/91140.

Farewell, Maurice. Rest in Peace.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Hurricane Arthur Damages Skipjack Wilma Lee!

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 05:12
News from Ocracoke Alive
 Join our fundraising campaign by August 1st to get her back in the water! Great rewards for sponsors!Wilma Lee damaged in Hurricane ArthurThis 4th of July was most unusual, bringing with it not the expected tourists, parade, sand castle contest, and Community Square party, but instead a Category 2 Hurricane Arthur barreling up the coast.  On the night of July 3rd and early in the morning of July 4th, Ocracoke Island took a direct hit from Hurricane Arthur. The storm brought winds upwards of 100 mph for several hours and also packed tornado-type winds as well. The eye of the storm passed over the village of Ocracoke at around 1:00 AM on July 4th. The island suffered damage in the form of downed trees, broken windows, roofing, siding and trim torn from houses and buildings, road overwash, and over 40 utility poles snapped or dislodged.

The most dramatic damage for Ocracoke Alive was to the Skipjack Wilma Lee tied up at NPS docks.  No one was there to watch [see comments for clarification], so we can only look at the results and speculate as to exactly what happened. The damage report is as follows:

Broken 40 ft wood boom
Damage to the port and starboard rails
Damage to the starboard railing
Damage to the mainsail
Structural separation at the stem

The Wilma Lee will be taken to a boatyard and hauled out for inspections and repairs.  We are currently assessing and estimating the costs, but it is clear that because of a high deductible and a provision that excludes sail damage during a named storm, that we will need close to $20,000 that we currently do not have.

We hope to repair the vessel so that it is able to take passengers for motoring trips and minimal sailing with use of the jib sail so that we can make the most of the remainder of the 2014 season while we wait for the creation of a new mainsail.  In the meantime, we will continue our summertime educational Dockside talks once the Wilma Lee returns to her berth at the Community Square Docks.  Mid-August we have another meeting with Andy Mink of NC Learn to look at the educational programming that we are developing for the Wilma Lee.
Here are some ways you can help!
1. Join our Indiegogo Campaign! In June, we began a fundraising campaign to raise money for replacement of the sails.  That platform is still in place and we are off to a good start at $1505 with 20 days left (as of this post date) and a goal for the sails of $10,000.  We hope you will be able to pitch in and join our quest.  Any monies raised over our goal will go towards the additional costs of repairing damage to the Wilma Lee. There are a lot of great perks, including T-shirts, cruises, a week’s stay on Ocracoke, and even your own private charter. Please note that many of the rewards offered involve cruises aboard the Wilma Lee – those may require modification, depending on the outcome of our inspections and assessments.  Contributions are tax-deductible and the campaign ends August 1st.

 
2. Send a tax-deductible contribution directly. You can do so with a credit card through Paypal by clicking on the donation button here.









or by mailing a check to “Ocracoke Alive, PO Box 604, Ocracoke, NC 27960”  with a memo to “Skipjack Wilma Lee Fund”

3. Join our “Boom and Sail Party.” If you can come to Ocracoke Island and are interested in joining us for a fundraising party, let us know and we will keep you posted on how to get a ticket to a fun-filled celebration to raise money for the Skipjack Wilma Lee. Email us at info@ocracokealive.org or call at 252-921-0260.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Decoy & Carroll A. Deering

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 04:47
Several days ago I received an email from a woman who discovered an old wooden decoy in her late father's estate. She sent me a photo of the Canada Goose decoy:










She believes the decoy was made by Charles MacWilliams ("Charlie Mac" to islanders) because of a typed paper found with the decoy.














The paper reads, "The wood in this hand-carved decoy came from one of the five masts of the schooner Carroll A. Deeering, wrecked in a great storm on Diamond Shoals off Cape Hatteras more than forty years ago [the Deering wrecked in 1921]. After she had been dynamited, one section of this famous Ghost Ship was driven ashore at Ocracoke Island in another storm, where I salvaged a mast. I carved this body from the mast, carved the head out of a natural driftwood knee found on the beach, and then painted the decoy.

"Many a waterfowl has been shot over this decoy. Famous men like Lynn Bogue Hunt, artist; Dr. Edgar Burke, author and artist, and Rex Beach, novelist, who all gunned with me long years ago -- had good shooting over this hand-carved decoy!

"October 15, 1963, Ocracoke, N.C. Charles MacWilliams"

I believe the woman is correct, and that the decoy was carved by Charlie Mac.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Swan Quarterly

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 04:42
In case you missed my article about traveling from Philadelphia to Ocracoke in 1951, you can now read it in the summer issue of the on-line magazine, Swan Quarterly. Here is the link: http://issuu.com/innerbanks/docs/sqly_summer_14_med. The article starts on page 27.













Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Loop Shack Again

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 04:56
Two days ago I re-published a blog post about Loop Shack Hill. I included photos of some of the extant structures. Below are two pictures showing what the installation looked like during WWII (the first courtesy of Earl O'Neal, the second courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center). The "Loop Shack" radar tower (with the wooden base) is shown on the left in the top photo; on the right in the bottom photo.












Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Party, Party, Party

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 05:05
I am a bit late posting this blog, but Hurricane Arthur interrupted the flow of my writing.

Late last month Martha & Wilson Garrish celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by throwing a lavish outdoor party for the community. Everything, including beverages, was free, but donations to the Ocracoke Community Park were requested.

The food was catered by the Flying Melon Restaurant, and music was provided by The Maxx. Here are a few photos:



 A good time was had by all, young and old alike...and donations went to a very good cause!
Happy Anniversary, Martha & Wilson!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Loop Shack Hill Revisited

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 04:40
Recently a reader asked about Loop Shack Hill (on NPS land, just past Howard's Pub), and I promised to publish a blog about this significant island landmark. I can do no better than to re-publish what I posted in July of last year:

Ocracoke Island played a significant role in World War II. German U-boats attacked and sank dozens of US merchant vessels off shore...and the Navy constructed a sizable military base here in 1942, part of the Navy's successful effort to thwart further submarine attacks.

Many people know about the main base, located where the NPS Visitors Center is today. Fewer are aware of the installation on Loop Shack Hill, where the Navy monitored an underwater anti-submarine magnetic cable and maintained sensitive communications with other military installations. Many islanders believe the Park Service should recognize these historic structures, which today are merely ruins.

Below are some recent photos of the remaining structures.


The Base of the Loop Shack
Remnants of a Communications Tower
A Communications Building?



































Concrete Foundations
























Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shell in a Shell

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 04:49
Some time ago I found this whelk while walking along the beach. Constant tumbling on the ocean floor had worn a half dollar size hole in the shell, but I kept it anyway because otherwise it was fairly well preserved.














Several days ago my grandson, Eakin, was looking at the shell, and he noticed something I had not seen. Lodged between the inner whorls is what appears to be a perfectly formed scotch bonnet. The smaller univalve is clearly visible from the hole in the whelk.


















This may not be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but it is interesting, don't you think?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shad Boat

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:05
The shad boat is the official state boat of North Carolina. According to NCpedia, "Shad boats were first built in the 1870s by George Washington Creef [on Roanoke Island], who combined traditional split-log techniques with conventional plank-on-frame construction. The original Creef design was extremely successful and in high demand by coastal fishermen. Creef taught many others to build this vessel, which soon became one of the better and more handsome North Carolina workboats. His boat works produced shad boats from the 1870s through the early 1930s, while other builders turned out similar designs. (Read more here: http://ncpedia.org/symbols/boat.)

The shad boat had a round-bottomed hull and a single mast that was rigged with a sprit sail (a four-sided fore-aft sail supported by a diagonally positioned spar called a sprit). The shad boat often included a jib and a topsail.

Jim Goodwin recently finished a detailed model of a North Carolina shad boat. 

Shad Boat Model by Jim Goodwin




















For landlubbers, here is a diagram showing the parts of a sprit-rigged sailboat.

Wikipedia Image by Kirby Schroeder




















And here are two images of one of the last (now deteriorating) shad boats to be found on Ocracoke Island:






























Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.




Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ocracoke Waters

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 05:19
Summertime always brings sailboats into Silver Lake harbor. I took this photo, with the lighthouse in the background, several weeks ago.




















Even folks who are not sailors flock to the island and our surrounding waters. Kayakers, fishermen, clammers, surfers, & parasailors always find much to enjoy here at Ocracoke.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Answers to Comment Questions

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 08:01
During Hurricane Arthur I got these two questions that I didn't have time or energy to answer. I am replying now.

1. "Could you explain to this Dingbatter how the island generator works - for example, what is meant by '1/3 of the island will be powered' or what is the 'rotation schedule?' Also if folks have a private generator, which I assume is gasoline powered, do you plug things into it to run, say, your tv or icebox?"

The Ocracoke generator is not powerful enough to supply electricity to the entire village at the same time...even when there are only year-round residents on the island. Three "trunk lines" service the village. Tideland Electric can supply power to only one of these lines when we are on generator. So they rotate service, usually in 3 hour blocks of time. Private, gasoline powered generators can provide electricity for refrigerators, lights, or even air conditioning, depending on the size of the generator. For example, the Variety Store has a generator that allows them to stay open during power outages.
 
2. "When a large tree is blown over, with the root bed exposed, is it possible to use a truck or equipment and set it back up? Would the tree have a chance of living after such an event? Just curious. I figure it is NOT possible, but just wondered."

I have seen (and helped) neighbors prop up trees that have blown over in hurricanes. But it doesn't always work. Below are two photos. The first is a tree in my back yard that I have propped up. The second photo is of a tree in my Uncle Marvin & Aunt Leevella's yard that survived a hurricane many years ago, and continues to grow at a noticeable angle.
















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

FINAL POST HURRICANE ARTHUR ADVISORY

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 05:59
July 5, 2014 10:00 p.m.Ocracoke Island Open to Unrestricted Access Beginning Sunday Morning   Hyde County officials are happy to announce Ocracoke Island will be open to unrestricted access, barring any unforeseen issues, beginning Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 7:00 a.m.  On Sunday, the first unrestricted ferry from Cedar Island departs at 7:00 a.m., from Swan Quarter at 7:00 a.m., and from Hatteras at 7:35 a.m. For the complete ferry schedule go to NCDOT.gov/ferry.
Tideland EMC successfully restored power to all of Ocracoke Island this evening after Hurricane Arthur damaged 45 utility poles and left thousands without power.  Hyde County officials and the Ocracoke community are extremely grateful for the hard work of all Tideland's employees over the past several days.
With full restoration of power, Ocracoke is no longer under a state of emergency. Tolls are back in place for ferry departures from Ocracoke to Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.  The temporary curfew for Ocracoke is now expired.
The National Park Service campground on Ocracoke is currently still closed, but please look for updates from the NPS regarding the campground's reopening.
Storm Debris on Ocracoke:
Chipping will begin Monday morning July 7th and continue until no longer needed. Mobile chipping services will begin on Hwy 12 near Howard's Pub and move south through the village. Vegetative debris smaller than 6 inches in diameter can be chipped on site.  All debris must be accessible close to the driveway. Anything larger than 6 inches in diameter cannot be chipped and will need to be disposed of at the solid waste site. 
Recovery Assistance on Mainland Hyde:
United Methodist Disaster Recovery crews will be on mainland Hyde County to assist with recovery from Hurricane Arthur beginning Monday morning July 7th. People needing any type of assistance should call (252) 542-9453 on Monday morning. The United Methodist Disaster Recovery crews will assist with vegetative debris removal. Vegetative debris less than 8 inches in diameter can be chipped on site. Vegetative debris larger than 8 inches in diameter needs to be put in a separate pile for hauling to the solid waste facility.  
  
Additional Safety Information 
Working Safely with Chain Saws:
The chain saw is one of the most efficient and productive portable power tools used in the industry. It can also be one of the most dangerous. If you learn to operate it properly and maintain the saw in good working condition, you can avoid injury as well as be more productive.
  • Before Starting the Saw
    • Fuel the saw at least 10 feet from sources of ignition.
    • Check controls, chain tension, and all bolts and handles to ensure they are functioning properly and adjusted according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • While Running the Saw
    • Keep hands on the handles, and maintain secure footing while operating the chainsaw.
    • Do not cut directly overhead
    • Be prepared for kickback; use saws that reduce kickback danger (chain brakes, low kickback chains, guide bars, etc.) 
  • Personal Protective Equipment Requirements
    • The following PPE must be used when hazards make it necessary:
      • Head Protection
      • Hearing Protection
      • Eye/Face Protection
      • Leg Protection
      • Foot Protection
      • Hand Protection

Heat Stress:
When the body is unable to cool itself by sweating, several heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress or heat exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke can occur, and can result in death.
  • Factors Leading to Heat Stress
    • High temperature and humidity direct sun or heat limited air movement
    • Physical exertion;
    • Poor physical
  • Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
    • Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.
    • Weakness and moist skin
    • Upset stomach or vomiting
  • Symptoms of Heat Stroke
    • Dry, hot skin with no sweating
    • Mental confusion or losing consciousness
    • Seizures or fits
  • Preventing Heat Stress
    • Block out direct sun or other heat sources
    • Use cooling fans/air-conditioning; rest regularly
    • Drink lots of water; about 1 cup every 15 minutes
    • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes
    • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals*.
    • What to Do for Heat-Related Illness
      • Call 911 (or local emergency number) at once
      • While waiting for help to arrive
      • Move the worker to a cool, shaded area
      • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
      • Provide cool drinking water
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Video

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 05:51
Yesterday Amy posted a short video of our spontaneous Fourth of July parade on the Ocracoke Preservation Society Facebook page. Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ocracoke-Preservation-Society/109598372410925

Enjoy!
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Spontaneous Celebration!

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 15:09
Today's re-scheduled Independence Day Celebration was abbreviated to a simple flag raising and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at 9 am. At least that was the official plan. But there was more to come.




















Just before 3 pm Bill called to let me know that two entries had shown up at the Topless Oyster for a parade! Eakin, Lachlan, Lou Ann and I rode our bikes out to take some photos. After a quick trip across the street to the Variety Store to purchase a few American flags we got in line for the parade.

It was quite a hoot to ride through the village, waving, wishing everyone a Happy Fourth, and tossing candy to the children.

Brenda, Ian & Melissa led the way, followed by young men from Pennsylvania (I think they are working at Howard's Pub this summer) on their Pirate Float. Lachlan, Lou Ann & I were on our bikes behind them (I don't know what happened to Eakin). At the last minute Gary joined in, and brought up the rear in his van (he will tell you he won first place in that category!).






























It was a great parade.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs
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