Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tom Franks

Hi, this is Philip again. I've been hiding out for a couple of weeks -- encouraging others to post on the journal while I work on organizing and transcribing much of the island oral history I've been collecting. But I wanted to share a classic Ocracoke story I've heard all of my life, one that illustrates islanders' unique sense of humor. (Much of the story might even be true.)

Tom Franks Gaskins was a ship's captain years ago. For a time, at least, his mate was Rob Hanks Tolson. He was returning home to the island when he was stopped at a drawbridge.

The bridge tender called down to him, "What's your name?"

"Tom Franks."

"Who's your mate?"

"Rob Hanks."

"What's your cargo?"

"Pine Planks."

"Where are you coming from?"

"Pasquotank."

"Why you insolent SOB! I'll be damned if I open this bridge for you!"

Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Street Names, published November 19, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news111905.htm.

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