Saturday, May 16, 2009


I guess folks might say I'm like the proverbial ostrich, with my head in the sand. I often don't know what is going on in the outside world. A neighbor gave me her newspaper yesterday. It was filled with stories about police corruption, child abuse, murder, robberies, and traffic accidents. I don't subscribe to a newspaper, and can be shocked by what is reported there. But then I remind myself that some of the stories, as horrible as they are, are about incidents in far away states, crimes in other countries, and sometimes even things that happened several years ago.

Not to minimize terrible things that people do to one another, but reading about it all in a hometown newspaper (in this case Norfolk, VA) can give the false impression that crime and violence are everywhere...and close by. They are often not, of course.

Living on Ocracoke can sometimes seem like Camelot -- idyllic beaches, a nurturing community, friendly neighbors, little crime. Of course, Ocracoke is not perfect. No place is. Last time I checked all of the 750 or so residents were fallible humans. But this island is a reminder that most people are honest and good, and that there are many folks who look after one another. I hope our visitors return home relaxed, refreshed, and reminded that life is good. Perhaps that is a message we all need to hear to counter the bad news we read in the papers.

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. Anonymous1:19 PM

    I for one find it surprising when people move to a planned community a place with a homeowners association and fees and rules, pre determined house colors intended to create an ambiance, suggested plants to use to create a soothing uniformity-- often people that move to these places don't want to follow the rules!!. Why don't they put their garbage can out of sight why don't they walk their dog on a leash and clean up after it, why don't they keep their yard neat and attractive . I suppose the residents of Ocracoke take pride in their homes and community and keep things neat and attractive.

  2. Debbie Leonard2:24 PM

    I love reading your blog! I love Ocracoke and come each year to camp. I have often wondered what the village would be like during the off season. This past Feb. I was lucky enough to spend part of the week there at NCCAT and I fell even more in love with the island! Ocracoke embodies all that I would like in a community.

    Unfortunately, jobs are in short supply and property is very expensive, but reading your blog (and Ocrakat's) make me feel just a little like I am there and part of it. At least until the weather is warm enough to camp again!

    Thanks for taking the time to write.