Many of our readers knew Phil Platt, owner and pilot for Ocracoke Island's Pelican Airways. I spoke with Phil early in the week while checking my mail at the Post Office. Late that afternoon Phil died suddenly. He was one in a long list of island characters. Strong willed, quirky, and quick to tell you what he thought, Phil was interesting, entertaining, and likable.
My first encounter with Phil was seeing him driving around the village in a car with most of the windshield broken out. There was a large hole in the passenger's side; the driver's side of the windshield was nothing more than cracks and "spider webby" lines obscuring any possibility of a view of the road. Phil, with hands on the wheel, was leaning far to his right, peering out of the broken glass. He was wearing his vintage leather flight goggles.
The memorial service was held today at the airstrip. A catholic priest was there, along with Joyce, our Methodist minister, and Dwight Burrus, lay preacher and pilot from Hatteras. The altar was Phil's rough work bench, stained with grease & oil. On the corner was Phil's vise, bolted firmly to the top. It was a fitting testimonial to a memorable island character. We will miss him.
Our latest monthly newsletter is Lou Ann's story of commercial clamming with 13 year old Morty. You can read it here.