Sunday, October 18, 2009

An Ocracoke Cell Phone Moment

Friday night I was engaged in an Ocracoke Preservation Society executive committee meeting when DeAnna reminded me that I had agreed to act as auctioneer for a sale of island artifacts after our upcoming general membership meeting. "Oh no," I blurted out, "I made a mistake. I can't be there that night."

After the meeting another member commented that Charles Temple would make a great auctioneer. I decided to call him right away as I rode my bicycle back home. It was an easy request to make. I know Charles has the necessary skills, is committed to community involvement, and would get an adrenaline rush coaxing ever higher bids from his neighbors and friends.

I was right. He was interested immediately. "What day of the week is the meeting?" he asked.

"I think it's a Friday, but I don't have a calendar in front of me," I answered, "I'm on my bike."

"Me too," Charles said.

Just then I was approaching the curve in the road near Captain's Cargo. An SUV with bright lights drove up close behind me. At the same moment I heard Charles complain that oncoming headlights were blinding him.

As the truck passed me I noticed a bicycle traveling in the other direction, across the street. The rider had a cell phone up to his ear.

"Charles!" I called out.

He wheeled around and we finished our conversation face to face (after a good deal of laughter and talk of "only-on-Ocracoke"...and a mutual agreement that this was a perfect subject for my blog!).

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of an article Philip wrote about sailing aboard the historic two-masted schooner, Mary E. It was originally published in the Washington Post in 1976. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous2:12 PM

    Oh gosh that is quite a tale. But raised my eyebrows as I thought did you have a head light on your bike, were the two of you clad in light colored clothing , did you have a flashing rear light on the bike and why would someone not dim their lights if they saw a cyclist?

    Perhaps attending to these details may have helped?? In any event, how bicycle friendly is the island?? Are there bike lanes on the road or bike baths to get around the island easily??

    Does the department of Transportation with the State of North Carolina have Share the road signs?? perhaps you could lobby the state legislature to pass a bill making it mandatory to dim headlights at night when approaching cyclists.

  2. emmaocie3:07 PM

    Too funny! Definitely "only on Ocracoke" :)

  3. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Hello Philip was down last weekend and noticed the lighthouse light was still on. What about the renovations and repairs?

  4. Anonymous11:59 AM

    After getting my truck stuck on the beach I thumbed a ride back to town and was calling Jessie at Beach towing on my cell phone and was asking where he was and he said he was coming out of beach road in front of the Variety store. (I was going down 12 in front of the store.) He wanted to know where I was and I said I am looking at you right now. I got out of the car I was riding in and jumped in Jessie's and he towed me out!

  5. When you're on Ocracoke, you're never too far from anyone else (for better or worse?).

    But when and where is that auction of island artifacts?!?


  6. Anonymous1:50 AM


    I noticed you mentioned Loop Shack Hill in a recent post. I recall reading an article in one of the island publications several years ago about that former naval facility. I have a rough idea of where it's located on the island, but I don't have a sense there's any "beaten path" to it. Do you know if the site is on publicly accessible land? If so, can you provide general directions that a visitor might follow to reach the site?

    Thank you.

  7. Anonymous1:56 AM

    Two hours of banjo music...

    Catching up on older posts, I came across your October 12 entry detailing banjo player Tony Trishka's recent performance at Deepwater Creek, and I was reminded of a joke told to me by a banjo-playing bluegrass musician friend from up here in PA. If I may:

    Q: What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of a banjo player?

    A: A tattoo.



  8. By the way, November 10 is a Tuesday. :)

  9. Once I got home and looked at my calendar I realized that Nov. 10 is a Tuesday. But thanks for keeping us up to date. Sometimes living on an island seems to make the days all "run together."