Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Flaw of Wind

Last night at the Ocrafolk Opry Gary Mitchell asked octogenarian, Roy Parsons, about August storms he had weathered on Ocracoke. Roy told about the tide rolling in over the sound, and how the wind nearly blew their house off of its foundation. They feared that their house, with them in it, would float away as the tide rose and poured into the downstairs rooms.

At one point in his story Roy mentioned a mighty flaw of wind that rattled their windows and shook the house so hard that they thought it would come apart at the seams.

I wondered, "Did anyone else in the audience notice that phrase, 'a flaw of wind?'" And if they did, did they know what it meant? A "flaw of wind" is an old island term, hardly used anymore, especially by the younger crowd. It means simply a gust of wind. Look it up. It is an old-timey phrase that must have been common years ago, but only survives in small isolated communities like Ocracoke. But it's one more link we have with the past. I think I'll be more intentional in the future, and be sure to use the phrase as often as possible.

By the way, today is the two-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Alex that brought Ocracoke our highest tides in sixty years. I'll just comment that Alex brought more than one mighty flaw of wind.

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's about Ocracoke Islanders and "tokens of death."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Did you weather Alex on the island? If so, what are YOUR recollections of the experience. We came down a week or so afterward, when the island first reopened to the public. Even then, there were still countless flood-damaged vehicles parked everywhere or being trucked off. And I recall the literal shell of a house that burned to the ground from a fire apparently sparked when someone tried to start their car and the saltwater-damaged electrical system shorted out. I can't imagine what it must have been like during the height of the storm.