Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fowler & Chloe

Yesterday afternoon, as I was hanging out my laundry, Fowler & Chloe stopped by. I gladly laid down my clothespins and we walked to the screened porch where we drank ginger ale and chatted for more than an hour about family, local politics, and islanders long gone. Fowler, who is older than Chloe, was born in 1921, and is a treasure trove of island lore. With his classic seafaring tattoos and colorful language, Fowler can keep you entertained all afternoon. In the course of the hour, conversation turned to Walter & Edgar Howard, talented musicians who played the vaudeville circuit in the 1920s & 1930s. (Edgar's grave is on Howard Street, and has a banjo carved into the marker, along with the words, "You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet!")

Fowler mentioned several long-forgotten songs that Walter and Edgar often played. Fowler and Chloe, as well as every islander who knew Walter and Edgar, routinely comment on the brothers' talent and intelligence. Some of their songs were bawdy barroom tunes, and I won't mention them on this journal. But one was a peppy and spirited ditty that reflected our Irish island heritage. Fowler remembered the name, The Irish Jubilee, though not the lyrics. Thanks to Mr. Google, I located it on the web. Here is one rendition I found on Youtube: Maybe Molasses Creek will learn it one day!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is "One Reason to NOT Move to Ocracoke." You can read it here.


  1. Anonymous10:51 AM


    Do you have your Uncle Edgar's record -- "Between the Sound & the Sea -- in your shop or home library? You know the one, recorded by Folkways, in the Smithsonian collection?


  2. Leonard, I do have that album. I believe it is still available from the Smithsonian. Several Ocracokers are featured, including Elizabeth Howard, Edgar Howard, my father Lawton Howard, and others.