Monday, May 18, 2009


Several weeks ago, as I was enjoying after dinner conversation with Amy & David, talk turned to Captain Rob and his prodigious memory. Many readers who have heard him recite some of his original poetry know what I mean. He also knows more jokes than anyone I've ever met. David thought we should give Rob a test, and asked us to pick a random topic. Someone suggested monks. David called Rob and asked if he knew any jokes about monks. After only a brief hesitation he offered this:

A dozen monks were sitting in their scriptorium copying manuscripts. Scenes like this had been going on for hundreds of years in the monastery. When the abbot walked by, one of the novices ventured a question. "After all of this copying, Father Abbot," the young man asked, "how can we be sure the texts are accurate?"

The abbot pondered the question, then announced that he would personally retreat to the cellar where their archives were housed, and check the parchments for accuracy.

He remained secluded for weeks. Finally several of the monks descended the stairs to check on the abbot. They were surprised to see him sitting in front of a large pile of ancient scrolls, his elbows on the table, his face in his hands, weeping profusely.

When asked what the matter was, he just kept repeating, "The word is 'celebrate'...the word is 'celebrate'!"


We tried it again last night. This time we chose "canoe." Rob didn't even hesitate. Unfortunately Rob's canoe joke isn't appropriate for a family blog!

If you haven't been sailing with Captain Rob on the schooner Windfall, be sure to put that on your list of things to do when you're on the island. Here is his web site:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of paved roads on Ocracoke. It may not sound very exciting, but there have been dramatic changes on the island because of the construction of paved roads a half century ago. You can read the newsletter, and see some rare photos here.

To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:19 AM

    We didn't read your blog last night (sick children) which is quite a departure for us (both issues). What a great way to start the day...with a strong cup of coffee and a good belly-laugh! Can't wait to be on island again (and hear about canoes!) All our best, Jack,Celeste,Katie,Kelli