I suppose other small communities come together often for special events. Ocracoke certainly does. Last night several hundred people gathered at the community center at 6 pm. Tables were piled high with chicken, quiche, bean salads, deviled eggs, vegetable dishes, potato salad, and dozens of other delectables. Another table was covered with cakes, pies, fudge, cream puffs, soft drinks, and other desserts too numerous to mention.
Everyone hushed at 6:45 when Phyllis Wall's family coaxed her into the building with some tall tale. I'm sure she realized something was up when she saw all the automobiles in the parking lot, but she was genuinely surprised to see so many of her friends (all singing "Happy Birthday") when she walked through the doorway.
Phyllis has been a long-time resident of the island (I remember when she used to come into our Village Craftsmen tepee in the 1970s to buy spoon rings), and is much loved by all. It was fun to see the sparkle in her face as she greeted everyone, and as friends wished her a very happy birthday.
A highlight of the evening was live jazz music provided by David Tweedie (violin) and Serge Gracovetsky (clarinet). (I'm not sure I've spelled Serge's name correctly.) Serge has owned a house on the island for more than thirty years, but I never realized that he is such an accomplished musician. Everyone was captivated by the lilting tones (and tunes) that wafted through the building. We'll be looking forward to hearing more of this duo's accomplishments.
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is Gary Mitchell's essay "I Believe in Pot-Lucks," published January 23, 2006. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012306.htm.