Friday, July 06, 2007


What a whirlwind holiday! Village Craftsmen was closed for the 4th of July. My brother Bud was here visiting....and so was Jim Fineman, good friend from Manteo. Along with Sue & Ed Norvel we had created what we considered the winning parade float -- a re-enactment of the appearance of the black bear on Ocracoke. Emmett Temple joined us at the last minute as a barking dog (he was great); Jim was the bear (Sue had made this terrific bear head and claws for him). But, alas, we did not win. It was great fun anyway.

I entered in a separate category as "Dr. Village." I had declared Ocracoke the No. 1 village in the US (proximity to the No. 1 beach was one criterion for the award). I didn't win either. What was wrong with those judges???? Check out the photos below.

The "Herd" skydivers gave a breathtaking show with their colorful parachutes and soft landings in front of the Pony Island Motel. The sand sculptures, as usual, were remarkable. After the parade Lou Ann and I hosted a shrimp boil and pot luck dinner for family & friends, then headed for the beach for the best fireworks display Ocracoke has ever had. We had "front row" seats. After the last rocket burst across the sky two shooting stars raced across the vault of heaven as if to remind us that every night on the island is filled with wonder.

The holiday was marred by a small marsh fire in the evening (quickly extinguished thanks to our capable Fire Department), an accident on the beach (a man lying in the sand was run over by a truck -- I understand that he suffered multiple broken bones), and another ocean drowning (please familiarize yourself with rip currents, and swim in the lifeguarded area if you have any question of your abilities, or ocean conditions). We are always saddened by these tragedies.

Yesterday was a time for us to recover from Wednesday's activities. By late in the afternoon we had cleaned and straightened the house, returned everything we'd borrowed, and stripped the pickup truck of bunting, signs, flags, and ribbons, before another family dinner and then an evening enjoying a Molasses Creek performance.

Following are a few photos from Ocracoke's Fourth of July Celebration.

Pirates of Pamlico Sound??

A Happy Fiddler Crab:

Lou Ann, Bud, Jim, Sue, & Ed:

Jim the Black Bear:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter has information about the new island Folk School. Click here to read about this new venture.


  1. Philip,

    You made a small mention of "another drowning". His name was John C. Parsons, age 42. He was very familar with rip currents; however, his children were NOT. He went in to save his children, regardless of what the ranger stated to the Washington Daily News on Friday, July 6. Mr. Parsons was a dear friend visiting my husband from WV. He loved Ocracoke and left our house in Belhaven via the SQ ferry to spend the 4th of July on Ocracoke with his children. He died a hero, not a tourist with no knowledge of rip currents!!

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. We grieve with the family and friends of John Parsons. Tragedies and fatal accidents are a part of life we all wish we could avoid. We send our sincere condolences your way.

  3. Philip:

    Thank you.

    Donetta Midkiff-Stender
    & Jerry Stender

  4. Anonymous4:48 PM

    What was wrong with those judges hits the nail directly on the head! I was really shocked that those readnecks and that on yankee fisherman didnt place anywhere for that redneck float! That was something funny to see! Does anyone have pics?