Back in May I met two very interesting folks, Ann and Tony Ianuario from Jefferson, Georgia. Ann is a direct descendant of Henry Garrish and Elizabeth Howard, two early Ocracokers. For those readers who might be able to make the connection, her great-great-great-grandparents were Josephus Fulcher and Sarah (Sally) Garrish of Ocracoke.
Tony is a musician and luthier (he brought one of his violins, and he and David and Jule Garrish entertained us in Blanche's living room). He is also a jolly fellow who sports a full white beard. I couldn't help but ask him if he ever acts as a stand in for old Saint Nick. I was not a bit surprised with his positive answer, but I was totally impressed with the thoroughness of his involvement.
This is what Ann told me: "Tony has been "Father Christmas" for 6 years. The director of our local history museum here in Jefferson, Ga. asked him to do it. She rented him a costume. He enjoyed it so much he wanted to continue, so he grew the hair and beard and I got out the sewing machine. Our characters get busier every year."
Ann was kind enough to send me a photo so our readers can see the amazing detail they put into their Christmas portrayals. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Lachlan has never been very enamored of Santa Claus, and in May he declined to be introduced to Tony. But he was curious. Maybe he'll relent on Tony's next visit!
If you are still looking for holiday gifts you can go to our on-line catalog by clicking here.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Artists' Colony that operated on the island more than 65 years ago. You can read it here.
To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.