Thursday, October 19, 2006

Visitors

Yesterday a reader made this comment:

"Your latest post, about renowned visitors, made me wonder if any other big-name folks ever find their way to the island -- and what sort of reception/treatment they might receive from other visitors/residents...."

Some of you may have read that Charles Lindbergh landed on the north end of Ocracoke many years ago. He stayed several hours and visited with the men of the Life Saving Station.

I once found an obscure reference to the author John Dos Passos. Apparently he and some friends hiked along the Outer Banks in the 1920s. They crossed Ocracoke Inlet courtesy of the US Coast Guard, and stayed overnight at Captain Bill Gaskill's Pamlico Inn. According to "John Dos Passos: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey," by Townsend Ludington, "The evening they left Ocracoke they had a lively time square dancing with several pretty girls and drinking Captain Gaskill's concoction of Grape-Ola mixed with orange extract."

I commented to one islander that I wondered if Captain Bill or any of the others realized that a rather well known author was visiting them. His reply, "Probably not, and even if they did know they wouldn't have cared."

In the '30s & '40s many North Carolina politicians (Governors, Senators, & Representatives) came to the island to hunt and fish. They relaxed and spent many a happy hour with their island hosts.

In more recent years I've heard that a number of celebrities have visited Ocracoke. I do not vouch for any of this information! You never know what to believe around here, but the following names have been tossed about: Jimmy Buffet, Robert Plant, Tom Cruise, Nichole Kidman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Kevin Costner, and Sean Connery. I've not seen any of them....but then I probably wouldn't recognize most of these folks anyway (they don't let me out much!).

When rumor spreads that a celebrity has been spotted on the island, there is a brief buzz around town, but then it dies down pretty quickly. Like old Bill Gaskill I suspect that most islanders would just yawn.

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of the Community Store and other general stores on the island.
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