One annual participant in the Ocracfolk Festival is Clyde Jones from Bynum, NC. He creates "critters" from logs , stumps, and found objects, using just a chainsaw and a hammer. His critters are popular items wherever Clyde goes, but he never sells them. He gives them away to non-profits (who often sell or auction them as fund-raisers) and to individuals.
I am told that Baryshnikov heard about Clyde's critters and visited his modest home (which, by the way, is literally surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of critters). The famous dancer wanted to purchase one of Clyde's animals, but he refused. When someone took him aside and tried to explain how famous this person was Clyde responded by noting that he had no idea who this dancer Baryshnikov was, but that the dancer obviously knew who he was. So, Clyde concluded, he must be even more famous than the dancer.
In the end I think Clyde gave a critter to Baryshnikov's young son.
As a "thank you" for sponsoring Clyde at the festival he carried an alligator to my place. It seems to enjoy grazing in my front yard.
Take a journey back in time with our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. You can capture some of the thrill of riding on the old mailboat Aleta by clicking here.