Saturday, March 18, 2006

Some Answers to Recent Questions

Lately I've had a number of readers respond to our posts with comments and questions. Here are the last three questions.

Q: "As for tales of Olde Ocracoke, your post the other day about your neighbor's 102nd birthday made me wonder whether anyone's ever captured her tales of the old days. Can't imagine what Ocracoke must have been like back in 1904."

A: Walt Wolfram, the William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English at North Carolina State University, & founder of the North Carolina Language & Life Project, has interviewed Muzel extensively with an emphasis on her dialect. He oversaw a video project celebrating her 100th birthday. I have visited Muzel often (she used to be my next door neighbor) and have made notes of tales she has shared. However, Muze is a rather quiet person and she talks sparingly.

Q: "Love your blog !!!! Will you be giving us an update of changes made this year in Ocracoke like you did last year. i.e. changes to retail stores, restaurants, and things like is Miss Ocracoke still sailing."

A: Please see yesterday's post about the new Teach's Hole Pirate shop. I also spoke with Steven Wilson a few days ago. He had on his wet suit and was about to go diving under his boat to scrape off barnacles. So the Miss Ocracoke should be in tip-top shape for your next fishing trip. In other news, Captain Rob of the schooner Windfall just had his Coast Guard inspection and he is looking forward to a great new season (maybe even with a few new cruises this year -- I've heard rumors of a pirate cruise for young-uns). You can check out his web page at or just stop by the docks and ask him what his schedule is. I've heard that a new business, "Island Thymes," will be opening on the Back Road where Teach's Hole was formerly located. And I understand that a new realty will be setting up shop just to the right of the Island Inn. Two island business appear to be closed, at least temporarily -- Quay Haul Productions & Sterling Construction. I've heard that the owners have other concerns in Washington, NC. The Community Store is also closed temporarily. We're hoping that new life will soon be added to this traditional island general store.

Q: "In listening to the actor who played Blackbeard, I was curious if he got the Ocracoke dialect tapes to use as a guide. I could hear true Ocracoke brogue in his dialogue at times."

A: I'm not sure about this one. I never asked. Actually, I'm not sure where Ben Cherry is from originally. Usually when I hear him he is "speaking like a pirate." Aaaargh!!

You can read our latest newsletter here: It's the story of traditional quilting on Ocracoke Island.



  1. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Thank you for answering my questions so quickly.


  2. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Had heard the Community Store was closed and that you have some Mtn. friends back on the Island. Pam called their cell phone the other night and instead of Mtns, they answered on the Island.
    THANKS for keeping us all posted!!


  3. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Ben Cherrys from Larchmont, NY
    do I get a prize for getting the answer?

  4. The pirate's promise is your prize: If you hand over your gold ring without resisting we won't cut off your finger!

  5. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Philip, My manner of speaking does not come from Ocracoke or any specific place. It is a complilation of various accents from Btitain and its properties. Years ago I lived in Larchmont, N.Y. but am actually from Plymouth, N.C. Fair winds, Ben Blackbeard Cherry