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Warts

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 03/10/2014 - 04:17
In 1972-1973 the Ocracoke High School yearbook staff collected traditional Ocracoke Island home remedies. The following three cures for warts sound like they came right out of the mouths of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn:

  • Take a bull rush and rub on your warts. Then put it back in the same hole you pulled it from
  • Take a glass of vinegar, and place a penny in it. Soak your wart a couple of times a day until it goes away
  • Steal your mama’s dish rag and bury it
It has been more than forty years since these remedies were collected. I wonder if any islanders alive can remember trying any of them.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Who, Whom

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 03/09/2014 - 04:20
I know he (or she) is difficult to see...but that's the snowy owl perched on the top of a sand dune. So at least one of these fascinating creatures is still patrolling our beaches. The picture was taken with my smart phone about a week ago.















A few days after I took this photo I had a discussion with a neighbor about grammar. She then sent me this Sandra Boynton owl cartoon. Enjoy!



















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Concert on the Ferry

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 03/08/2014 - 06:09
Last weekend I joined several other islanders in Swan Quarter for the annual "Music Across the Sound" performance. Some folks use the 2 1/2 hour ferry ride to read, nap, play cards, or catch up on work.

Fiddler Dave, Sundae, and Marcy used some of their time to rehearse for the performance.















If you are ever on the ferry with local musicians, don't be timid and walk away. Stay for a free concert.  You'll be glad you did.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Down East

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 05:37
On Wednesday I joined a small group of islanders for a visit to the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center on Harker's Island. I had been there once before, and was looking forward to another visit to view their first class exhibits.

Harker's Island is part of the coastal plain of North Carolina called "Down East." Their heritage and culture are very similar to ours on the Outer Banks. The museum is a large building with an impressive collection of decoys, work boats, quilts, and other artifacts that celebrate coastal North Carolina's maritime history...and the area's palpable sense of community.

Core Sound Museum
One of several Decoy Displays
A Traditional Wooden Skiff
Colorful Local Quilts
Cape Lookout Lighthouse




































































If you are traveling to or from Ocracoke by way of Cedar Island, be sure to make time to visit the Core Sound Museum. It is at the very end of Harker's Island (follow the green sign on Rte. 70 between Otway and Smyrna, to Harker's Island). You might even want to explore their hiking trails, visit other scenic landmarks, or take the passenger ferry across the sound to Cape Lookout. You can see the lighthouse from Harker's Island.

I can assure you from personal experience -- the museum is a "must stop" and well worth the extra time. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

More Winter Shells

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 05:46
Whelks, scotch bonnets, olives...every once in a while, especially on the winter beach, we find a shell washed up in the surf. One day I stumbled upon this small whelk. It had just washed up. I left it for someone else to discover.















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Scallops

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 03/05/2014 - 05:31
Seagulls love clams & scallops. They pluck them out of the shallows on the sound side of the island, carry them high into the air, and drop them on the hard ocean beach to break them open. Of course, gulls have learned that dropping their prizes on the road is even more effective.

If you are driving on Highway 12 watch out for broken shells. They can slice through a car tire!

Scallop Shell on the Beach















I have not heard that there will be a scallop season in 2014. But you can read about my 2002 experience scalloping here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news030302.htm.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Jule Garrish

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:42
Last Friday I posted a link to an article about Ocracoke's sense of community. The article by Ken McAlpine included his experience listening to island native, Jule Garrish, performing at a local concert.

Ken wrote, "Uncle Jule came up on stage and sat on a stool, hands folded neatly in his lap, a brown ball cap pulled low on his head. A man named Martin Garrish strummed a guitar beside him....Jule didn't move, but as Martin began to strum, a voice issued from between the brown ball cap and a red check shirt."

Just yesterday I discovered a 2009 YouTube video of Jule singing "Curly Headed Baby" with the Molasses Creek band. It was made on the Swan Quarter ferry, crossing Pamlico Sound.





Enjoy!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Little Nick

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 05:46
Amy recently loaned me a clever children's book, Der Kleine Nick und die Mädchen (Little Nick and the Girls, originally published as a series in French as Le Petit Nicolas). In the first story Nick invites Marie, the little girl next door, to join him and his friends (all boys) for an afternoon of hot chocolate and play. The boys are peeved because they "don't play with girls."

Out in the yard the boys engage in a series of immature contests -- eating a piece of cake as quickly as they can, walking on their hands, climbing trees, performing somersaults -- as Marie, with her doll, quietly and indifferently observes. When Marie's mother calls her home for her piano lesson, Nick comments that he and his friends hadn't been very nice to Marie. 

"We have hardly spoken to her, and we played as if she wasn't even there," he observes, unselfconsciously.

This story reminds me of Capt. Rob's engaging story about when he was in sixth grade and tossed a young girl's loafer into a tree. Rob describes his action as "a courting ritual only a 12 year old could understand."

Capt. Rob entertains the Ocracoke Opry audience on Wednesday evenings during the season. Be sure to put the Opry on your list of things to do on your next summer vacation. In addition to entertaining stories you will enjoy some of the best of our island music.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Beignets

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 03/02/2014 - 06:01
Ocracoke native, Molly Lovejoy, is a sophomore at the University of New Orleans. In case you missed it, our June, 2012 Ocracoke Newsletter is a transcript of Molly's high school valedictory address.

Molly's parents, Dave & Karen, visited Molly a few months ago, and brought back several boxes of beignet mix. I was the lucky recipient of one box. Last Sunday afternoon I decided to fry up a couple of batches of these delicious French donuts.
















Of course, I had more than I could eat...so I carried a few to Amy, David & Lachlan; several to cousin Blanche; and some to Karen & Dave. Even so, I ate more than my fair share. But they were definitely "good some," as O'cockers would say!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.  
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Scotch Bonnet

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 06:06
While walking along the surf a couple of days ago I stumbled upon two small, gray, but complete scotch bonnets. It's always fun to find whole shells, especially the scotch bonnet, North Carolina's official state seashell.

Scotch Bonnet
Can you find the bonnet?































Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Community

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 05:44
Ken McAlpine is a writer who lives in California. In the fall of 2004 he visited Ocracoke as he was traveling up the East Coast. Ken was collecting stories for his first book, Off Season, Discovering America on Winter's Shore. Chapter 8, "The World According to O'cockers," tells of his time on the island. If you haven't read it, I suggest you go to your local bookstore or your library and get a copy.

Ken has never forgotten the palpable sense of community he discovered on Ocracoke. In a recent on-line article he recounts his experience at an island Thanksgiving weekend concert a decade ago. You can read his article here: http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/commentary/west-is-eden/my-town-your-town-our-towns-community-lives-in-america.html.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lazy Susan

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 06:05
Many of our readers know that Ocracoke is home to many talented musicians and a number of excellent artists, craftsmen & craftswomen. For years I have owned a beautiful Lazy Susan dining room table that I purchased from the estate of Sam Jones. Over the years the table's finish had deteriorated, leaving unsightly rings and other stains. Recently I contracted with island native, Clifton Garrish, to re-finish the table. Clifton is a very talented wood worker who builds cabinets and other fine furniture. In this photo you can see the beautiful job Clifton did.
















In 2011 I mentioned Lazy Susan tables in my article about Sam Jones. I wrote, "In addition to his home, Sam had a state-of-the-art woodworking shop built on the estate. There he employed two of Norfolk’s best known furniture makers, Rosario Cicero and George Houmis, who constructed, among other items, impressive five-foot and six-foot diameter lazy-Susan tables of walnut and cherry." (I think my table is made of mahogany and pine.)

You can read more about Sam Jones here:  http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012111.htm.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.  
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Not a Shipwreck

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 05:26
Over the centuries many interesting objects have washed up on the beaches of the Outer Banks: bunches of bananas, top hats, crates of shoes, thousands of bags of Doritos, vegetables, marijuana, messages in bottles, and ships -- brigs, sloops, schooners, yachts, even a decommissioned Naval vessel.

Shipwrecks have become part of the mystique of the Outer Banks. However, by the early years of the 20th century the era of grand wooden sailing vessels had come to an end. Since then the ravages of storms and high tides have carried away or buried the remnants of most shipwrecks.

Nevertheless, various objects continue to find their way to Ocracoke's beach. This heavy treated beam was probably part of a dock that was torn apart by a hurricane. Today it lies just south of the Lifeguard Beach. It is too heavy to put in the bed of a pickup truck, so it will probably remain with us until the next storm that washes over the island.















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Daffodils

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 02/25/2014 - 05:26
"Polar Vortex," "Bitter Cold," "Snow," "Ice" -- the US, including the South, has had more than its share of winter weather this year. As our readers know, we even had 5 inches of snow on Ocracoke.

But signs of Spring are apparent on the island. I took this photo in my front yard Sunday afternoon:




















Maybe where you live the ground is still covered with ice and snow. If so, start planning your Ocracoke vacation today! Most island businesses will be open in March, ready to help you enjoy springtime on the Outer Banks.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

After the Storm

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 02/24/2014 - 05:50
Late Friday afternoon a band of storm cells moved across the Outer Banks. After about 20 minutes of wind, thunder, and lightning the skies began to clear. The sun was low in the west. I stepped outside and snapped these two photos. They were taken about 15 minutes apart.
















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

WAVERLY

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 02/23/2014 - 06:03
Two days ago we published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. This month's article is about the day in 1956 when telephones came to Ocracoke. The article included images of Ocracoke's first telephone book. Here is the link again: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm.

In 1956 Ocracoke's "exchange name" was WAVERLY. Younger readers of this blog may not know that in the 1940s the Bell Telephone Company assigned every area an easy to remember word + a number. Ocracoke's exchange thus became WAVERLY 8.  To dial a number it was necessary to dial the first two letters of the exchange + the single digit...then the subscriber's unique four digit number.

Beginning in 1958, in response to the growing number of telephones in the US, the exchange name system was gradually changed to "all number calling." WAVERLY 8 thus became 928, the exchange that is still in use today.

If you look again at the telephone numbers in the 1956 Ocracoke directory you will notice that every four digit sequence begins with a 3 and ends with 1. In order to be a "walking local telephone directory" it was only necessary to remember the middle two digits of all 63 numbers. And to call locally it wasn't even necessary to include the WA (or 92). Dialling 8-3431, for example, was sufficient to call Jake Alligood.

In addition, even as late as the early 1980s, every Ocracoke number was essentially part of a modified party line system. Our family used this information for practical purposes. Dialing a local number as listed in the directory resulted in a series of discreet single rings; dialing a 2 for the last digit created a distinctive "double ring"; a 3 resulted in a "triple ring," and so forth. Our son's friends learned to dial a final 2 to let us know the call was for him; a final 3 meant the call was for our daughter.

Today island telephone numbers include any combination of the final four digits, and there are no longer distinctive rings. In addition, cell phones using various carriers have created a bewildering variety of ten digit number combinations...and caller ID displays have almost replaced the old-time art of remembering telephone numbers. 

Again, our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Teenagers & Knives

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 02/22/2014 - 06:01
A reader commented on our post for Thursday...a reader who has been following this blog for more than five years. The anonymous commenter referred to a classic Ocracoke Journal post, "Teenagers & Knives" which was published in August, 2008.

Every once in a while, even five years later, neighbors, friends and/or family will mention that blog...and the two dozen comments it generated. The comments always bring chuckles.

If you missed that post, here is the link: http://villagecraftsmen.blogspot.com/2008/08/teenagers-knives.html#comment-form. Enjoy.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Telephone

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 05:53
Telephones came to Ocracoke in 1956. On the first day of telephone service islanders made more than 1,700 calls!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents that historic day, and includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm

Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Laughter -- The Best Medicine

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 06:14
Ocracoke islanders do not take themselves too seriously. It is a long-time island tradition to poke fun at themselves and each other. Some years ago the island's Methodist preacher seemed more interested in catching fish than winning souls. Islanders noticed that he was out standing in the Sound more often than he was at the church. Oscar Burrus suggested taking up a collection to purchase copper paint for the preacher.  "Boys," he said, "if we painted the preacher’s feet maybe we could keep the ship worms from getting to him."

This is a photo of my Uncle Marvin clowning around one evening with a makeshift wig and a twig mustache. He loved a good laugh. One afternoon, after his wife left the house to walk down the sandy lane to attend a Ladies Missionary Society Meeting at the Methodist Church Marvin went right to her closet. In a few minutes he had donned one of her dresses, positioned a fancy Sunday hat on his head, and draped an old purse over his arm. To everyone’s delight, Marvin joined the other ladies at their meeting, and even stayed for refreshments.



















To this day Ocockers tell stories about the old-timers and their great sense of humor -- Monk Garrish, Danny Garrish, Lum Gaskill, Oscar Burrus, Wallace Spencer, Oscar Jackson, Lawton Howard...and many more.

And the tradition continues. Just spend a little time with David, Earl & Robbie, who work at the Water Plant...and you will know what I mean!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Pine Cones

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 02/19/2014 - 06:03
In 2006 & 2010 I wrote about the Fibonacci Sequence. This mathematical sequence is quite dramatic in seashells, but it is also evident in the structure of pine cones. When I walk the Hammock Hills Nature Trail I pass numerous pine cones lying along the path, and I always think of this fascinating sequence. You can see it in the spiral pattern in the photo below.















To read the other two blog posts, and learn more about Fibonacci and his sequence, just click on this link: http://villagecraftsmen.blogspot.com/search?q=Fibonacci.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs
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