Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Notices

Ocracoke islanders do not have home mail delivery, so we make regular trips to the Post Office. The bulletin board in the lobby always includes notices of items for sale, addresses of neighbors in the hospital, public announcements, and so forth. The other day I noticed these two cards, a consequence of Hurricane Matthew. Just another reminder of where we live.












In case you are having trouble reading the notices, this is what they say:

"Boardwalk/Dock in marsh by my house. If you claim it or want it call Pat."

"Floated Away on Oyster Creek    2 - Cedar Adirondack Rockers   1- 2' X 4' X 1' high exterior wood cocktail table  Found - 3 Large Planter Pots  Please call:"

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: ht:tp://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Whales

Beginning in late November, folks out walking our beach are occasionally rewarded with whale sightings. I have talked with several people who have seen whales off shore lately. One afternoon my companions and I saw a pod of whales quite a distance away. The spray from their blowholes and their backs briefly breaking the surface were unmistakable signs of whales. But they were too far away for photos. Just this past weekend another pd of whales was sighted just south of the airstrip.

This photo was taken several years ago. A right whale (I think that's what it was) was just beyond the breakers. I walked along with it for about a mile. 



















Whales were hunted along the Outer Banks many years ago. For more information click here.  And, if you are walking on the beach this winter, be sure to cast your eyes out to sea. You might be one of the lucky ones who see these magnificent creatures.

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Landlord's Invitation

On Tuesday's blog post I included a link to my Ocracoke Newsletter about Sam Jones. In the Newsletter I mentioned the "Landlord's Invitation" which Sam had printed at the top of his stationery.





This might be easier to read: “Here’s to Pa’ nds Pen Das’ OCI alh OURin ha! RMLes, Smirt ha ND Fun le TFRIE nd’s HIPRE ign B eju ST an DKIN –dan Devils PEAK of N’ one.”

An anonymous reader left this comment on my blog post: "I have been waiting for Mr. Jones' Landlord's Invitation to be discussed and explained."

Maybe one of our other readers can shed light on this Invitation. If we don't get a response by later in the day I will explain it in a comment. 

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Holiday Cheer

Off-season visitors to Ocracoke are often surprised at the many activities here, especially in November and December. Below are events scheduled between now and Christmas. This list does not include various music and open house events at selected island businesses. Please check the Ocracoke Current and the Ocracoke Observer for more information.

If you are on the island in December, you are invited to attend all of the events.


















  • December 3.....OPS Historic Houses Tour, 3 pm
  • December 4.....Library Cookie Swap, 2 pm
  • December 6.....Community Tree Lighting & Wassail Party, 4 pm at OPS
  • December 10....Community Christmas Concert, 7 pm
  • December 11....Assembly of God Christmas Program, 7 pm
  • December 15....Ocracoke School Holiday Program, 7 pm
  • December 17....Community Christmas Potluck at the Oyster Co., 6 pm
  • December 21....Christmas Caroling, 5 pm
  • December 24....Christmas Eve Service, Ocracoke Methodist Church, 7 pm
Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Riddle

My friend Al Scarborough stopped by several days ago to pose a riddle for me based on an observation he'd just made.

"Philip," he said, "can you tell me a feature that is built into every modern automobile but is seldom used? However Ocracoke islanders, and even many visitors, use this feature routinely?"

Can you guess the answer to the riddle? If you think you know,  please leave a comment.

If no one solves the riddle by the end of the day I will post a clue in the comments section.

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sam Jones Story

Visitors to Ocracoke often notice two especially imposing buildings on the island, The Castle Bed & Breakfast, and Berkley Manor Event Venue.

The Castle Bed & Breakfast



Berkley Manor
Brian Carter Photo, Courtesy Ocracoke Observer























These large iconic structures with towers, dormers, and cedar shingles were built by Sam Jones in the 1950s. You can read more about him here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012111.htm.

Below is a short personal story about Sam written by Julie Howard.

"Stories of Sam Jones have been part of Ocracoke's history for more than half a century.

"The self-made millionaire from Swan Quarter, who began as janitor for a Norfolk VA foundry and eventually owned the entire company, spent much time on the island, his first wife's birthplace.

"So when I moved to Ocracoke in 1972, I heard many stories about Sam Jones-- his foibles and eccentricities, his unpredictability, and his great generosity to the island and its residents, especially to the Methodist church and the local fire department. 

Sam Jones, Photo Courtesy Outer Banks History Center















"Everyone has a favorite, and sometimes personal, Sam Jones tale. Here is mine.

"During the 1970's I served as organist for the Ocracoke United Methodist church. Sam had donated our electronic organ, and he usually attended Sunday services when he was in town. I was accustomed to seeing him, his private pilot, and other guests in the front pews.

"One Thursday night, right in the middle of our weekly choir practice, the back doors of the sanctuary flew open, and in marched Sam and his pilot, each carrying a stack of large boxes. They proceeded down the aisle and handed out the boxes: first to the choir director, then to me, and finally one to each member of the choir. Not much was said, that I recall, but the message was clear:  Thanks for your service to this church.

"When we all recovered from this surprise appearance, we opened our boxes to discover beautiful dresses, apparently individually chosen for us by Sam.  Mine was lovely and silky, navy and white...and it fit perfectly. That amazed me, as I was a rather small person and often bought clothes in the teen department.

"One interesting detail of the gift was that the price tags had been left on the dresses. I don't remember knowing other prices, but my dress had originally been marked $120, then reduced by half for a sale price. Even at $60, the gift of ten dresses to our little church choir made a lasting impression on me. I believe Sam made an impression on everyone with whom he crossed paths."

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Caribsea Wreck

In past posts I have written about the U-Boat attack on the Caribsea, a 251' freighter that was sunk off the Outer Banks on March 11, 1942. Ocracoke native, James Baughm Gaskill, was killed in that attack. 

Today the Caribsea lies in 85 feet of water east of the Cape Lookout Shoals. According to Roderick M. Farb in his book, Shipwrecks, Diving the Graveyard of the Atlantic, "the site of the wreck is 12.5 miles from the Knuckle Buoy on a heading of 31 degrees."

Although much of the ship's hull is gone (the Navy depth-charged the wreck during WWII to prevent German U-Boats from hiding nearby) divers are still rewarded with views of the bow, the forward hold, and her two anchors, as well as a large windlass, and the engine & boilers.

Farb writes that the wreckage harbors sponges, urchins, mollusks, crustaceans, various species of fish, and an occasional shark or manta ray.

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1938 article about Capt. Gary Bragg, waterfowl hunting, and wooden decoy carving. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112116.htm.