Monday, February 11, 2008


I went to the clinic for some routine blood work this morning. I am trypanophobic (I have a fear of needles). The nurse told me I was a #10. (It even gives me the creeps to write about needles!)

Anyway, we got to talking about a whole generation of Ocracokers who are afraid of needles, thanks to island nurse of the 1950s & 1960s, Kathleen Bragg. Here's how Alton Ballance tells it in his book, Ocracokers:

"We came to fear Wednesdays, the day that she spent at school. Wednesdays also became known as 'shot days.' High school boys would circulate rumors Wednesday morning, and sometimes the evening before, that a 'new batch of shots' was in. The younger ones were continuously reminded about the time she supposedly broke off a needle in a student's arm. High absenteeism was not uncommon on Wednesdays."

I heard that one student, on being sent to Kathleen, ran out of school. Her parents never caught up with her until they got to the campground!

OK, enough. Now I'll go home and try to forget everything I just wrote.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is inspired by an April, 1942 article about the island in The State magazine. You can read it here.

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