Friday, November 28, 2014

Camp Meeting

Camp Meetings, outdoor religious services characterized by enthusiastic hymn singing, rousing preaching, long prayers, and an "altar call" were held periodically during the 19th century on Ocracoke and other communities on the Outer Banks.

Crude tents were made from sail canvas. Benches were fashioned from lumber washed up on the beach, or from upturned fish boxes.

A pious Ocracoke gentleman heard that a camp meeting was to be held in Kinnakeet (now Avon) on Hatteras Island. At the boat landing, where several folks had gathered for the departure, one man showed up highly intoxicated. “What,” the pious islander exclaimed, “you’re going to a camp meeting, and you’re drunk already?” “Yes,” the man slurred, “I believe that if you’re going to be ready to ask forgiveness, you should make an early start of it.”

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112114.htm.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

We at Village Craftsmen wish all of our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends, and healthful food.

If you are on the island tomorrow and/or this weekend, be sure to stop by and say hello as you enjoy a walk down Howard Street.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112114.htm.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Iced Taters

My good buddy, Wayne Teeter (1944-2014), loved to cook. Even as a child he relished food...clams, oysters, fish...any kind of seafood, really...and a variety of vegetables grown in his back yard. I remember him talking animatedly about those delicious "iced taters," fresh from his family garden.

If you are not from the South you may be wondering what "iced taters" are. With a little imagination you might guess they are "Irish potatoes," a staple of many an island dish, from old drum "Ocracoke style" to clam chowder.

Gardens are not as plentiful on the island as they once were, but a number of my neighbors still cultivate impressive vegetable gardens, many with iced taters.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112114.htm.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Progging

"Progging" is a term that has been around since the 16th century, although its origin is unknown.

Ocracoke Islanders in bygone years used the word to describe searching for food, often for turtles. Dictionary.com defines "prog" as "to search or prowl about, as for plunder or food; forage."

Walt Wolfram, in his paper, The grammar of rural and ethnic varieties in the Southeast, comments on this unusual word: "Particular lexical differences may also characterize specific enclave communities such as the use of...progging for ‘looking for artifacts’ on the islands of the Chesapeake Bay...."

David Wright & David Zoby, in their book, Fire on the Beach," point out that "...Roanoke Island blacks [in 1867] described themselves as fishermen, hunters of fowl, and 'proggers'...."

Ocracoke Islander, Frank Treat Fulcher (born, 1878), in his autobiography recounting his years at sea, tells about coming home and engaging in "several years more of progging" "in the oyster and fishing business."

Ocracokers occasionally go out progging for oysters or for items washed up on the beach, but it's rare to hear the word "progging" spoken nowadays.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112114.htm.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Newsletter

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112114.htm.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Coconut

The sea tosses many different gifts upon the shore -- seashells mostly, but sometimes messages in bottles, coins, even cargo from passing ships.

Not long ago I stumbled upon a water-logged, weathered coconut. Of course, it came from some tropical shore, probably from Florida or the Caribbean, carried to Ocracoke by the Gulf Stream and stormy weather off-shore.














In the past I've picked up apples, onions, and other fruits and vegetables that were perfectly fit to eat...but I left this coconut lying on the beach among copious amounts of seaweed.  It didn't look like it was worth the time to break it open.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

1933

In 1985, Melinda Tolson and Steve Cobb, students at Cape Hatteras School, interviewed Capt. Ernal Foster (1910-1996). Capt. Foster was the Hatteras Island native who launched the Outer Banks offshore sport fishing industry in 1937. In that year he carried fishermen into the Gulf Stream in his 37' vessel, the Albatross. Today, the Albatross fleet continues to cater to sport fishermen in three boats. You can read more about the Albatross Fleet here: http://www.albatrossfleet.com/albatross-history.html.

In the 1985 interview, Capt. Foster tells about being stranded at the Green Island Club at Ocracoke, 3.1 miles southwest of Hatteras Inlet. The hunting club was located on a marshy island in Pamlico Sound, not far from shore.

The incident happened in 1933, when Foster was 23 years old. He and several friends were fishing in the Sound when the wind started to pick up and the water got rougher. Foster and his friends decided to seek shelter at Green Island, but the wind velocity kept increasing, and the tide rose rapidly.

In no time at all the tide rushed inside the building. When water reached their waists the men went upstairs. The hurricane winds eventually undermined one side of the house, causing the whole structure to tip over so that one side of the roof was down in the water. The men retreated to the roof, staying on the leeward side. They remained on the roof throughout the hurricane, and into the next day, until the water receded and the wind abated.

When the fishermen finally located a castaway boat (theirs was destroyed), and returned to Hatteras, they discovered widespread damage, but no injuries. Capt. Foster described his ordeal as the worst experience of his life.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.