Monday, January 19, 2015

Bunny & Iggy

Two native islanders died early this month. Bernice (Bunny) Gaskins, 90, died at her home on Loop Road on New Years Day. Bunny was the daughter of the late Irving and Alma Bragg Forbes and the widow of John Gaskins. You can read her obituary on the Ocracoke Current:

On January 2, Rhodes Ignatius (Iggy) Styron died. He was quite a colorful character. You can read his obituary here:

Born in 1944, Iggy used to spend hours on the Community Store porch, drinking Coca Colas, eating snacks, and greeting friends and visitors. As you might imagine, he often offered a unique perspective on life.

Photo by Lou Ann Homan

Ignatius had a penchant for unusual attire -- sleeveless t-shirts; sunglasses; silver bracelets, earrings and rings; a soul patch; and spiked hair. His hair was often colored (he chose red, white, and blue for July 4th). Lou Ann and I frequently biked down to the store just to spend time with Iggy. He didn't say much, but even in his most taciturn moments, he was a pleasure to chat with.

In recent years Iggy gave up on his more outlandish appearance, and we only saw him occasionally when he drove his golf cart to the NPS docks to watch boats coming and going in the harbor.

Our most memorable visit with Iggy occurred at the Community Store. A gentleman whom I did not recognize stepped up to the porch, gazed right and left, and just stood there for a time without saying anything. Finally he addressed Iggy with a few words, then turned and walked away.

I asked Iggy if he knew the man.

"Yes," Iggy replied, "he comes to the island several times a year. He's really weird."

Farewell Bunny & Iggy! Island life is always impoverished when those of our own depart.

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here:


  1. Bear MacDonald9:25 AM

    One cannot understand another's inside by outward appearance. That being said, Iggy appeared to be a truly "free spirit." May his spirit go forth in peace.

  2. I loved that guy. His spirit was gracious and funny and all original.