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National Lighthouse Day

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 05:30
Thursday, August 7, is National Lighthouse Day, but special programs in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park start tomorrow.

Photo by Eakin Howard












Programs include: 
  • August 6th, 5 pm - The Oldest Lighthouse: The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North Carolina. Learn how this tower is truly part of the Ocracoke community and get a peek inside the base of the tower. Meet at the Ocracoke Lighthouse. Parking is very limited. We recommend that you walk, bike, or be dropped off. (30 mins) 
  • August 7th, 1 pm & 4 pm - The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse--Why is it Here: Have you ever wondered why this lighthouse was built on a remote barrier island? Learn about the storied history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its purpose. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion. (20 mins) 
  • August 7th, 3 pm - A Link in the Chain: While the Bodie Island Lighthouse stands alone on a narrow ribbon of sand, it serves as a link in the chain of a network of lighthouses on the east coast. Learn more about the U.S. Lighthouse Service and of what life was like for the Bodie Island Lighthouse keepers and their families. Meet on the front porch of the Bodie Island Visitor Center. (30 mins) 
All programs are free and open to all.

For more information, click here:  http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/92048.

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

Paris, New York....

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 04:43
....Ocracoke.

A friend who lives on the island had a summer visit by her eight year grandson. The boy is now living in Paris. He also spent several years living in New York City.

Prompted by his grandmother, I asked him what he thought of these three places. "They are all awesome!" he told me. 














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

Llama Trek

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 04:40
Lachlan spent ten days this summer at camp in the mountains of North Carolina. This island boy reports that he had an "awesome" time.

Lachlan with his Llama, Lightning














In addition to a three day llama trek, the campers enjoyed rock climbing (Lachlan loves to climb), a ropes course, camping, and white water rafting (Lachlan's favorite).

He returned home just before his tenth birthday, happy to be back on the island (he was homesick only for about an hour the first afternoon), and looking forward to camp again next summer.

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

A Capella

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 04:58
Last week Bob Zentz and Jeanne MacDougall spent several days at our house, entertaining us with their music. They were on the island with a talented musical couple from the Netherlands, Ankie and Nanne. Ankie & Nanne stayed with Al & Linda Scarborough.

On Wednesday evening, after the Ocracoke Opry, Bob, Jeanne, Nanne, Ankie, and a half dozen islanders came over to our house for wine...and music, of course. I was surprised that no one brought out their instruments, but in no time at all the living room was echoing with the melodious sounds of traditional sea chanteys and nautical songs.

It is impossible to convey in writing the magical feeling as these accomplished musicians graced us with beautiful harmonies and heartfelt melodies.














Nanne and Ankie added even more to our week when we discovered that they are fluent in Dutch, English, their native Friesland dialect, and Esperanto, a constructed international language (I had never before met anyone who spoke Esperanto). They take their music around the world promoting peace and international good will. I was not aware that between 100,000 and 2,000,000 people worldwide fluently or actively speak Esperanto.

Earlier in the week Nanne, Ankie, Jeanne & Bob treated islanders and visitors to a spontaneous concert on the porch of the Black Schooner gift shop on the shore of Silver Lake.














What a gift they gave us!

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

Today is Philip's Birthday!

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:21
Good Morning, Everyone!

Today is Philip's birthday so I am announcing it to the world. He does so many wonderful things for all of us with his blog of history and island life taking us on a journey into the past as well as the present.

Philip is loved by his family and his community.

Today is a special day for him and for his grandson, Lachlan. They are exactly ten years apart!















 Thank you for helping make his day extra special!

Lou Ann
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lackbeard

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 05:13
Monday, July 28, was a pivotal point in this season's production of Julie Howard's three-act musical, A Tale of Blackbeard. To say the show was fraught with problems is an understatement!

From the very beginning of auditions everyone knew that Bill Jones, who plays Oliver Farthingham, watchman of the town of Ocracoke, would be off the island for this one performance. David Tweedie was recruited to fill in. In addition, several village girls were unavailable, so Jennifer Kidwell stepped up to grace the stage. Unfortunately, Bill Cole, who plays the ship's cook, had injured his back, and Maren Donlon, Katherine's little sister, arrived with a sore throat and an earache.

Then, at 4:30 in the afternoon Matt Tolson, who plays Blackbeard, realized that his worsening head cold and rising fever would make it impossible for him to perform!

Emmet Temple was enjoying an afternoon at the beach when Molly finally got him on his cell phone at 5 o'clock. All season Emmet had been playing Blackbeard's quartermaster, William Howard, and he immediately agreed to tackle this new role. He had three hours before the curtain would rise!

With barely a 1/4" beard (and a bit of makeup), Emmet took command of his pirate crew, and the stage, to give a stellar performance. The cast began referring to him backstage as "Lackbeard." As luck would have it, Wade Holloman, who had played William Howard early in the season, was back on the island for a two-day visit. He stepped in to help save the day.

"Lackbeard" battles Richard Evans












If all of that drama were not enough, problems with the set caused a half hour delay and minor injuries to two members of the cast. After much discussion and attempts to fix the backdrop for Miss Euphemia's Boarding House, the decision was made to proceed without the full set.

Just moments into the show, as pirates were assembled on the deck of the ship, the performance was halted when an audience member collapsed in front of the stage. After a few minutes, Ocracoke's EMTs arrived with a stretcher and carried him to the clinic (I heard later that he had recovered).

Finally, the show resumed. Emmet, David, Wade, Jennifer, and the rest of the cast demonstrated what only seasoned and resilient actors could accomplish. The performance continued without a flaw, and the enthusiastic audience awarded the cast with a rousing ovation.

Mr. Farthingham reacts to the Goings-On at Miss Euphemia's













You can read more about this eventful night at http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/92045. (All photos by Eakin Howard.)

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

Shooting Hoops

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 04:50
This photo may not look like much -- just a basketball lying off the edge of the school's outdoor court.

One of the things I've always like about walking through the school yard is seeing basketballs lying around. There is generally no need to carry them home, since the school has the only basketball court on the island.



















Maybe the next time you walk through the Ocracoke school yard you will want to stop and shoot a few hoops! There is often a basketball nearby.

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

Creative Arts Program, 1974

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 04:32
The August 2, 1974 issue of The Carolina Beachcomber ran a photo of Ocracoke's Methodist minister, Jimmy Creech, and a brief article about the Creative Arts Program Jimmy initiated.

Jimmy Creech, 1974


















"Popular preacher Jimmy Creech of Ocracoke Island, leader of the creative arts program for the Ocracoke United Methodist Church, is excited about two coming attractions. First, Ira David Wood, executive director of Stage '75 drama production group of Raleigh, will be a guest artist. 'A truly professional artist in dramatics, having starred several years in 'The Lost colony' as Old Tom and Sir Walter Raleigh, David brings to us an acting talent rich in perception and vitality,' Jimmy said. Attraction number two is well-known pottery craftswoman, Alice Proctor."

Ocracoke's tradition of theater, crafts, and music continues. Be sure to seek out shows and performances whenever you are on the island.

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

Summer Theater

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 05:01
Summer (and Winter) Theater has been an important part of island life for quite some time. In the summer of 1974 Julia Howard's three act musical, A Tale of Blackbeard, began it's run of 9 seasons in the course of 20 years. The play built upon a long tradition of plays, skits and variety shows that were staples of Ocracoke Island evening entertainment for decades.

As many of our readers know, A Tale of Blackbeard has been revived this season with a cast of talented local actors and actresses. Clever lyrics and catchy tunes complement the script which portrays the last days of the infamous pirate captain who lost his head just off shore in 1718. Salty sailors, coquettish village girls, and a prominent village family provide drama, conflict, and romance.

Clay Goins & Amy Howard, 1994 Production













This summer my son Stefen Howard has been working on a web site dedicated to preserving the history of this iconic Ocracoke Island production. The site is a work in progress, but Stefen has already published images from many of the performances, as well as vintage newspaper clippings, programs, and historical sketches.

Take a look at www.ataleofblackbeard.com now...and later this summer for updates from the 2014 season.

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

Music at Breakfast

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:34
Bob Zentz, well-known folk musician, and his musical fiancee, Jean McDougal, are on the island this week, and will be performing at the Ocracoke Opry tomorrow evening. Bob has a repertoire of several thousand songs, many of them nautical tunes and sea chanteys.

Bob & Jean are staying with us for a couple of days...and it doesn't take more than a thought, a word, or a hint to inspire them to get out their instruments and break into song. I took this photo Monday morning at the breakfast table.















Bob and Jean entertained us for about an hour, playing and singing both traditional songs & ballads, and introducing us to some of Bob's original pieces.  After sharing stories about colorful Ocracoke island characters, Bob played his song about a popular banjo player, Sud Bell (born 1882), last resident of Hog Island, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Ol’ Sud Bell, Ol’ Sud Bell
 Sittin’ on the porch of the Wachapreague Hotel
Pickin’ on the banjo, he played it rather well
Gone but not forgotten, is Ol’ Sud Bell!

You can read the rest of the lyrics here:  http://www.bobzentz.com/songbook/o.sudbell.htm.

Times like this, shared with talented friends, add spice and beauty to island life. 

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

The Perils of Beach Driving

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 04:57
I recently discovered this photo in an old album. It was taken at South Point in November, 1981. If I remember correctly, the angler fell asleep as the tide was coming in.



















As far as I know, this SUV (or whatever is left of it) is still out there, having gradually sunk deeper into the sand. It wasn't long before it was completely covered up.

The message: stay awake, and pay attention when driving on the beach!

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

Down Point Decoys

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 04:32
I had occasion to visit with David O'Neal at Down Point Decoy Shop a few days ago. As soon as I stepped into his store I was reminded of what a tremendous inventory of old and new bird carvings he carries.














Dave was sitting at the counter, chatting with a customer about antique rifles and waterfowl hunting, when I entered. After the customer left I mentioned that I would like to come back with my camera, and take a few photos to put on my blog. Dave agreed, saying he always appreciated free publicity.














When I returned I noticed that David had a copy of the 1986 National Geographic Traveler magazine on display. David was featured in the magazine, and his picture was on the cover. I remarked that he looked a little younger in those days. His mustache was definitely not white!  That led to talk about how the senior years just seem to creep up on us without our awareness while it's happening.


















If you haven't been in Down Point Decoy Shop lately, be sure to stop by and check out David's wonderful collection of working and decorative decoys.


















And, if you are wondering why "Down Point Decoys" is located "Around Creek" it's because David started his business Down Point (on the lighthouse side of Silver Lake), near his family home...but he moved it Around Creek (on the Community Square side of Silver Lake) a few years ago.

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

The Carroll A. Deering

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 04:47
As a young boy I loved to listen to my father tell tales about Ocracoke. One of my favorites was the story of the “Ghost Ship of the Outer Banks.” On summer trips to Ocracoke we always borrowed my Uncle Marvin’s WWII army surplus jeep at least once, and drove to the north end of the island. Along the way we would stop at the wreck of the Carroll A. Deering. Since late February of 1921 the bow of the Deering, along with her heavy iron capstan, lay on the beach several miles south of Hatteras Inlet. The wreckage was distinctive. I would stare at the massive timbers and listen with full attention as my father retold the mysterious tale.

Wreck of the Deering, Photo courtesy of M.R. Dixon












The five masted schooner, Carroll A. Deering, was launched April 4, 1919 by the G.G. Deering Company Yards in Bath, Maine. She was the last and largest ship that eighty-six year old Gardiner Deering built. Named for his youngest son, the massive vessel was just over 255 feet long, weighed more than two thousand tons, and carried six thousand yards of sail. She was impressive by any measure. 

US CG Image of the Deering











The Deering wrecked January 31, 1921. The sails were up, tables were set, and food was in the galley stove, but no crew members were aboard the vessel, just a cat. The Deering has become known as the Ghost Ship of the Outer Banks, and the mystery of her wrecking has never been solved.

An Internet search will yield numerous links. Here is the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carroll_A._Deering.

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. st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;}
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

An Evening of Music & Stories

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 04:46
This Sunday, July 27, the Women of Ocracoke present "An Evening of Music & Stories" at Deepwater Theater on School Road.

Three of the Women!













The performance begins at 7:30 pm. Space is limited, so come early to be sure to get a seat. And be prepared for a wonderful evening of stellar island talent.

Admission is by donation only. All donations will go to the non-profit organization "Ocracoke Alive" to help support repairs to the skipjack Wilma Lee which was damaged during Hurricane Arthur.

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.h


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Navy Base

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 04:56
The Ocracoke WWII Navy Base was much more than the Loop Shack Hill installation (see earlier posts). The primary facility was located where the Coast Guard Station/NCCAT building, NPS Visitors Center, Parking area, and OPS museum, are today.

Use the instructions on the right to enlarge the aerial photo below (courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center) to see the many structures & buildings (barracks, mess hall, hospital, water tower, etc.) which the Navy had on the island during the war.
















The WWII era photo below (courtesy OBX History Center) shows the  US Coast Guard Station (now the NCCAT building ) with the earlier US Life Saving Station/US Coast Guard Station on the right. The old station was demolished after WWII.















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

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
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