We have just published another of our Ocracoke Newsletters. This month I share an article written 57 years ago by my Uncle Marvin Howard (1897-1969). Entitled "There's Nothing Like the Glory of November on the Banks," Marvin shares his love affair with his island home while wondering what the future holds for Ocracoke.
Although Uncle Marvin never had more than a sixth grade education, he was a voracious reader and autodidact. He served as a ship captain in the Navy in WWI, and was commodore of a fleet of dredges sent to Europe in WWII. After retiring as a Lt. Colonel with the US Army Corps of Engineers he returned home to Ocracoke where he was active in civic affairs. In 1956 he established the nation's only mounted Boy Scout Troop.
Uncle Marvin loved to hunt...and the freedom he felt when he was outdoors. He was also an accomplished horseman. He had a deep emotional connection to Ocracoke and wanted to preserve and protect whatever made his island special. In the early 1950s Marvin knew there would be changes when the National Park Service established the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park. He understood that change would bring more people to Ocracoke...and more economic security to its residents. But he also worried that it would bring more rules and restrictions.
He was prescient in many ways, but I doubt he anticipated the extent of the changes. I am certain he would be shocked at the number of people who visit Ocracoke every year. And he would be surprised at how many businesses his island community now supports. And, although there are more regulations today, he might see how necessary some of them are, while delighting in the establishment of the Working Watermen's Association and the continuance of hunting and fishing guide services.
When you read his article you will get a sense of life on the Outer Banks on the cusp of change.
In the interest of readability I have done some minor editing. You can read Uncle Marvin's article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102111.htm.