Monday, April 11, 2011

Question 4

Today I address the fourth question from one of our recent comments: "What did you look forward to most [when coming to Ocracoke as a young boy]?"

The answer to that question is easy -- Freedom...and Adventure. Coming across Pamlico Sound on the mailboat Aleta, or across Hatteras Inlet on Frazier Peele's ferry was like being transported through a gateway into a land of magic. Island life was so different from the rest of the world.

The first thing I did when I got to the island was take off my shoes and socks...and I didn't put them on again until the end of the summer. I roamed around the village with friends, went fishing with Uncle Enoch in his skiff, gigged flounders in the sound, explored Springer's Point, had opportunities to ride Uncle Marvin's horse, attended Saturday night square dances, swam in Silver Lake, learned to eat clams, climbed on remnants of long-ago shipwrecks, watched the pony round-up on the Fourth of July, climbed the lighthouse, and body-surfed in the Atlantic.

A young boy on Ocracoke in the 1950s could wander all day long and most of the evening without a chance of getting into too much trouble. We were carefree, and island life was full, exotic, and wonderful.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of traditional island remedies. You can read it heres:


  1. Anonymous7:15 AM

    That's what it was like for me too except for a few years later :-). Those were the good old days!!

    Phillip - you taught me macrame when I was 7-8 years old, I'll never forget.

  2. bill kostar7:45 AM

    The most wonderful thing about these stories is that ,at least for those of us who visit the island only about once a year, the experiences that Philip describes are what we enjoy and have for years.
    That transition from the overcaffienated world to the island place where you actually have time to enjoy the things that matter most is always a wonderful experience.
    Our gang is looking forward to our next annual visit this August.

  3. We'll be on Ocracoke this time next week...the anticipation is the only thing getting 2 adults and 2 children through the week.
    If you see 8 shoes and 8 socks thrown off near the Hatteras ferry, that would be us!
    Heather, Addison, Jacob & Zella

  4. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Philip, have you ever considered writing a series of books loosely based on your childhood? They could be great children books, something like the "Box car Children." Fictionalize them, use Ocracoke, and your childhood memories as fodder and I think it would be a huge hit. I'd love something like that to be available for my girls to read.

  5. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Running around without shoes

    Running around with out shoes is something a child will do

    On an island of land full of sand and sea and a dock at you doorstep

    a boat at your beck and call float through the day,
    with nothing on your mind except what you may find for dinner

    this free verse in honor of national Poetry month April is national poetry Month A month of poetry in April across the nation

  6. Anonymous12:45 PM

    I'll drink to that.

  7. Re. children's books based on an Ocracoke childhood -- we'll see...only time will tell.

  8. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Kind of like summer camp-only better!

  9. Anonymous4:15 AM

    To late I have dibs on the Island Alphabet it's a working title and well my inspiration is in the public domain.