Marcie Brenner and Lou Castro (also known to Ocracoke music lovers as "Coyote") invited the community to an open house yesterday afternoon. They are renovating the former Bertha & Van Henry O'Neal home on Firehouse Road. Although the project is several months from completion Marcie & Lou scheduled the event for yesterday because it was also Lou's 40th birthday.
The house is a beautiful remodeling of an older home, with beadboard walls, tiled floors, antique reproduction appliances, and a sizable side porch. Several local musicians gathered on the porch for an impromptu jam session later in the afternoon, and this time John Golden brought his homemade banjo to complement the guitars, dobro, and mandelin.
Later on, at 6 o'clock, several hundred islanders converged on the Community Center for a surprise birthday party for Lou. The only way Marcie could get Lou there was to tell him they were playing for a private party for folks from Hatteras. Eventually, when the whole crowd broke out with "Happy Birthday," Lou figured out that the party was for him. He still had to perform, however, as did Marcie, Jackie, & Martin.
A wonderful time was had by all.
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is Gary Mitchell's essay "I Believe in Pot-Lucks," published January 23, 2006. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012306.htm.