Friday, September 30, 2011

The Mini Cooper & the Schooner

After all the rain we had earlier this week Lachlan was outside walking through the puddles. He came inside, excited. "Mama," he exclaimed, "the puddle in the road in front of Opa's house is up to my waist!"

The next day I was outside when I noticed a Mini Cooper coming down the lane. I flagged the car down and advised the driver not to go any farther. "The water is really deep," I said. He looked at me with skepticism.

"It really is deep," I repeated. "I think it would be best to go down Howard Street." I could tell he didn't want to hear what I was saying.

"I like a little adventure," the driver said with a shrug of his shoulders. With that I said, "Go on, but it is deep." (I might even have rolled my eyes!)

The Mini Cooper plowed through the first puddle, then plunged into the second one. Water covered the bumpers. I was sure it seeped under the doors, but he made it through.

The next evening I had a Ghost Walk (actually not a walk, since the roads and paths were mostly under water) in my living room. Lo and behold, two of the participants were the Mini Cooper driver and his wife!

After the stories I brought out my great grandfather's original shipwreck reports from 1883-1894 when he was keeper of the US Life Saving Station. We opened the book and read about the wreck of the schooner Samuel Grice, January 27, 1885. This is what my great grandfather wrote:

""After arriving aboard finding the schooner lying still on the bottom, asked the captain if he wanted my advice, he said he did not.... The schooner sunk loosing cargo and vessel...."

I pointed my finger at the Mini Cooper driver. "You are the modern day equivalent of the schooner captain," I said. "You were just luckier!"

We all had a good laugh over it.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of slavery on Ocracoke. You can read it here:


  1. I am sitting here watching the airport web cam and the darkness bit by bit lighten over the water wishing I was watching this from the beach.

  2. Anonymous8:02 AM

    Pat, I know what you mean! I just saw a beautiful egret taking a stroll and stopping every now and then for a bite of breakfast, thanks to the Ocracoke Harbor Inn Teach's Hole web-cam.

    Philip, your Mini-Cooper story is hilarious. Yes, I imagine you did roll your eyes. Those folks were blessed not to have gotten stuck.

    It IS a small world on Ocracoke. I've noticed during my trips how often I will run into the same visitors for days. Or, I'll run into you, Kathleen O'Neal and other friendly Ocracoke Island residents! Smiles are plentiful on Ocracoke even among the rolling sets of eyes! :)

    Philip, how are the mosquitoes w/ all the water still around? Was the recent spraying successful in killing these pesky bugs?

    Hope visitors are able to make it on the island and business is improving after Irene. This NC mainlander is still hoping to catch the ferry in late October or early November and get my "Ocracoke fix".

  3. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Funny story about the schooner! We had the same feeling in our CRV heading towards the Soundfront Inn last Sunday! There is still a lake under the house but it is going down pretty well now. Christene at WOVV told me yesterday they were calling it the "Ocracoke Monsoon" with 13 1/2 inches and more water than Irene left behind. Will stop by the VC soon and plan to attend the concert. We are enjoying every minute of our trip! Also heard on the radio that there would be spraying for skeeters thru tonight but someone at the concert last night said not likely out here as most of it is federal land. Any comment on this? Sue M

  4. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Had a good laugh here as well. How did your grandkids start calling you Opa (is it pronounced- oh'-pa)? Is it your own special name or are there other Opas out there? I'm sure we were the only kids who called our grandfather "Ninny"--I have no idea why.

  5. To answer your skeeter questions -- the mosquitoes are coming out! Hyde County has contracted for aerial spraying of the most densely populated areas of the county. That includes Ocracoke village. Spraying was scheduled for either last night or tonight. I don't know if it was done last night or not.

    According to an official Hyde County email, "When used according to the directions on the label, Dibrom - the chemical to be used for the spraying - poses no threat to humans, animals or livestock. Actually, it's safer than regular table salt. `Table salt has a more lethal dosage than this chemical,' said Watson [Hugh Watson, Environmental Health Program Coordinator with the Hyde County Health Department]."

  6. My maternal grandparents were German speaking Hungarians which is the reason I chose "Opa" as my grandfatherly nickname. It just means "granddaddy." It is pronounced oh'-pa. By the way, my mother's name was Kunigunde, an antiquated German name. The American-born midwife had never heard the name, did the best she could, and wrote "Goony-Gonda" on the birth certificate!

  7. Anonymous10:43 AM

    I love your family history on both sides of your family, Philip!

    Thanks for the info on the mosquitoes....hopefully, the spraying is safe and will do the job this time around!

    Keep on, keeping on!

  8. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Cars driving through puddles, cars that have no doubt run over a dead squirrel or two. rotting animal flesh encrusted into the tire treads --another reason why playing in puddles-- an adventure. But then pirates ate warm beer and bread that could surely raise the dead-- reminds me of a menu from a Holly Day In

  9. Anonymous10:53 AM

    If it is okay with children to play in puddles why are adults afraid to walk through the puddles? There seems to me a double standard.

  10. Anonymous11:13 AM

    On another note....thanks to all the nice folks @ VC for providing free shipping through October! It's such a wonderful savings.

    Hope folks will do their Christmas shopping @ VC this fall, whether in person or on-line! I am always well pleased with my purchases and it's a thrill receiving a package from 27960!

  11. Anonymous11:14 AM

    Thanks so much Opa. And by the way, I think the name is cute-it suits you.

  12. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Does not the county have a responsibility to post signs --road closed deep water etc. It seems to me a simple barricade is in order to detour motorists to other routes-- a law suit for someone driving on a road with water to deep is in the offing-- it could have been a young mother with a baby. It seems to me a few bugs skeeters are the least of your worries. Call FEMA they will write a check

  13. Anonymous12:19 PM

    Poses no threat to humans or live stock ----I just read the chemical data sheet available on line for --that pesticide--- read for your self say by by to aquatic fish and waterfowl rats and such --- safer than table salt --- does that person have a degree in chemistry?? I read no comparisons to table salt in the Chemical data sheet!!!

  14. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Someone posted an old quote the other day "some people can start an arguement in an empty house". I hadn't heard it before but I loved it.

  15. Anonymous1:35 AM

    Don't trust anyone over 30 now that is another quote. But some people don't remember that or never heard it. There are none so blind as those that will not see. Dibrom is something worth reading up on...