Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mixed Emotions

Philip is so easy. He writes about pot lucks and walks on the beach and all the things that y'all think Ocracoke is 100% made of and don't get me wrong, it is,.... but more like 75%. The other 25% is folks who care, fighting to keep Ocracoke the sweet place that it is. It's not an easy fight or a pretty one. Being named #1 Beach in the USA hasn't helped that fight. And, in case you haven't heard, I believe Conde Nast named us #4 in the WORLD ! It's been a double edged sword, or as I like to put it, a sharp stick in the eye. Not many of us live here to get rich, we live here for the way of life (there will be folks who disagree I'm sure ). Being named #1 Beach brought folks here who hadn't a clue what Ocracoke was all about and ended up being dissatisfied with what the island DIDN'T have to offer. I'll leave those things to your imagination. "Oh, we love your island, let us change it for you!" It was a good summer financially for all of us . I'm just so afraid we've lost something that we're not going to be able to replace. I'm not one who likes to be wrong but I sure hope I am this time.
Ok,... Ok, I'll be cheerful tomorrow... I promise. Maybe we'll go fishing tonight. Jude

Our latest monthly newsletter is Lou Ann's story of commercial clamming with 13 year old Morty. You can read it here.


  1. Keep the faith, new people will only tolerate a ferry ride so often. I wouldn't change a thing on Ocracoke. Love it and want it to stay the way it is.

  2. Anonymous6:08 PM

    I just got home from there and there were more people there in september than i had ever seen. I did not like all the people. I dont want anything to change either.

  3. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Hang in there... I agree 100%. I live in a similar situation in a small village in VA near the Ches. Bay. I rally hear what you are saying and I don't want Ocracoke to change. It is the way of life that I love. Coming back for Thanksgiving! Can't wait!!!

  4. Anonymous8:26 AM

    We'll be there starting on Saturday for the week and I agree with everyone else. Change isn't always good and there is nothing that I see needing change on Ocracoke.

  5. Anonymous10:05 AM

    We were introduced to Ocracoke a few years ago by another family and all of us have experienced the island several times together. We don't want McDonalds, WalMart, or a busy shopping center. Keep it just the way it is - and give me a good book on your uncluttered/uncommercialized beaches!

  6. Anonymous10:37 AM

    I grew up spending my summers in Buxton and Ocracoke, and am looking forward to introducing my kids to the area in June. Ocracoke has a unique charm that, honestly, I don't think could be lost, especially with people like you and Phillip around. Personally, I'm more at home there than anywhere else and wouldn't change a thing.

  7. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Mixed Emotions is right!!!!
    As someone that has been coming for well over 25 years, I know what Jude is saying.
    Yes some tourist come & go, but others keep the Realtors happy by driving up prices and building large homes to drive up taxes. The locals have had to changed how they make a living to keep up with the times & the tourist traffic. A lot of the old timers, that I've enjoyed talking with or hearing Philip talk about, are dying out. Some of the young folks have had to move off Island, because they can't find jobs, or at least jobs that will pay enough to keep them in a home & pay bills. Streets have changed, the area around the Castle, just isn't anywhere near the same. I feel like I'm walking down a side street in Myrtle Beach when I walk by all those condos. Now with the uncertainty of Berkley Manor (unless I've missed out on something), that end of the harbor will be changing also. Old hang outs like the Community Store & Styron’s store are closed. Some places are being saved like the Fish House. The Museum & Preservation folks are working hard to keep the Island as we all love it, but things will keep changing. But you know what, the light will keep shining from atop the lighthouse on the island we all love.

    (Hope everyone is a member of the Ocracoke Museum, all donations help)

  8. Anonymous2:09 PM

    The only change (or changes) I would like to see are to revert to what the island was like about 25-30 years ago when I first discovered Ocracoke...before a multi-story BRICK hotel (what were they thinking), when the Coast Guard Station WAS a CG Station, before the crowds, traffic, etc. One thing that hasen't changed are the great locals, many of whom I have grown to know as friends, including all at Village Craftsmen.

  9. Anonymous4:11 PM

    When I first heard that we (Ocracoke) had been named # 1 beach by Dr. Beach I was disappointed. You are correct that financially it was a pretty good season for most. However, my fear was that being named the # 1 beach would take away many of the things that make us the # 1 beach. And keep in mind that Dr. Beach's decision was based on one particular section of the beach, the Lifeguard Beach. That is the only section of our beaches that has lifeguards (part of the year) and having lifeguards is part of his criteria for choosing the # 1 beach. There are miles and miles of unguarded beaches that are much better (especially during peak season), less crowded and are always # 1, right here on Ocracoke. The best time of year to be here is between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Not the other way around. I am glad that our year of being "officially" # 1 is passing and we can get back to the business of actually being the # 1 beach.

  10. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Well, I TRIED to leave a message, but you didn't pick it up.

  11. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Stick to your guns, O'Cockers! The East Coast (nay, the whole world) NEEDS your unspoiled serenity, not another overpriced, honky-tonk wasteland!

  12. Anonymous2:26 PM

    I'll have to agree with Jude here. You folks need to hold on tight to what you have as long as you can, because when it's gone there's no going back. I don't want Ocracoke to lose the charm that it has. That's what keep bringing people back year after year. If Ocracoke winds up like a Myrtle Beach, then what have you got?.

  13. Anonymous9:52 PM

    What makes Ocracoke wonderful is a combination of what it does have and what it DOSENT. Life slows down on Ocracoke like no place else I have ever been. When we first came to North Carolina, we thought" no, this is all wrong". We went in search of the NC we imagined and found what we it when we got off the ferry on Ocracoke. We've been back every year since. Everything changes, but if it must...please go SLOWLY!

  14. Anonymous9:47 AM

    As more of the beach is closed to ORVs, the visitors to Ocracoke will increasingly be 'condo dwellers' who occasionally walk over the dunes to the beach. The look and feel of Ocracoke is changing to a yuppie destination. So sad for those who love the island for its simple way of life. Unfortunately, like most places, money and profit is becoming the driving force on the island. Many of us would LOVE to live on the island, but can't afford the quarter of a million dollars that most 'cottages' cost. Again, wealthy visitors can buy these--totally changing the makeup of the population and island.