Wednesday, November 15, 2006

OPS Potluck Dinner

Last night Ocracoke Preservation Society hosted its annual meeting and potluck dinner. I arrived early with my deviled eggs, only to discover that three of the other four people there had also brought deviled eggs! By the time we were ready to eat, however, the selection of dishes was outstanding....and tasty.

This year I was the featured speaker. After the business meeting I offered some insights and stories about preserving Ocraocke's oral traditions. It was especially satisfying to share island tales with locals, and they were a fantastic audience.

I told about squaredancing in the 1950s (and how we'd revived the dance more than a decade ago), I demonstrated a traditional Ocracoke bird trap, I related the story of the woman who was buried alive and was found turned over in her casket, I talked about amusing anecdotes you can learn by studying cemeteries, I shared insights about our island's unique dialect, and I told a short story that illustrated Ocracokers' pithy sense of humor.

In the space of about 30 minutes the audience was, in turn, captivated, amused, creeped out, and intrigued by some of our island's diverse and fascinating history. Best of all, I learned this morning that two of our local children are already building a bird trap.

To see new items we've added to our on-line catalog, please click here: "What's New at Village Craftsmen".

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of two old maps (1590 & 1795) and place names on the Outer Banks.


  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Not sure who sponsors it, but I occasionally hear snippets of an oral histories program on the radio (NPR?). Think it might be associated with the Smithsonian Institution. I've also seen brief video histories on Perhaps you could set up a kiosk at the Village Craftsman where people could just just drop in share their own stories (or not). Cheers!

  2. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Good Morning Philip,
    I laughed out loud about the multiple offerings of deviled eggs. My investment club had a pot luck and over half of the 21 person membership brought homemade canned pickles. We had a delightful time sampling each one. We've learned our lesson though, now we have a sign-up sheet.
    Take care!
    Minneapolis, MN

  3. A kiosk to share stories. It sounds like a wonderful idea....if only I had the extra time! I am just imagining all the details. Frankly I haven't even beeh able to commit many of the island stories I've collected to my computer. Thanks for the idea, though. Maybe someone else will have the time and energy, but I don't think it will be me. Sorry.

    Lorri -- no sign up sheets needed here. Even though three of the first four dishes were deviled eggs, by the time we sat down to eat there was "gracious plenty" and plenty of variety.