Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fire on the Beach

A couple of years ago I read a fascinating book about the Outer Banks. Every so often I think about it, and I often recommend it to friends and acquaintances. It is titled Fire on the Beach: Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers, and was written by David Wright and David Zoby.

Fire on the Beach tells the remarkable story of Richard Etheridge an African-American Outer Banker who was born into slavery, served in the Civil War, and later entered the US Life Saving Service. He eventually became keeper of the only all black life saving station at Pea Island, on the Outer Banks. His story is rich in history, drama, and insight about the life saving service and distinguished black residents of coastal North Carolina.

If your local library does not have the book, and/or you would like to purchase it, as always, I encourage you to shop at your local, independent bookstore. If there is none near you please consider one of the following Outer Banks stores:

  • Books to be Red on Ocracoke Island (to be honest, Leslie may not be open this time of year, but you can try to reach her by phone at 252-928-3936)
  • Manteo Booksellers on Roanoke Island. Steve's web site is http://www.manteobooksellers.com/
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoker, Kelly O'Neal, and the 1951 revolution in Siam (Thailand). You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012910.htm


  1. Philip:
    Maybe you can help me. When I was at the History Center in Manteo in the fall, I saw a book written by an Ocracoker about Ocracokers in service during WW II. It was filled with great pictures. I failed to take note of the title or author. I would like to get my hands on a copy. Do you know of it? I will be in Ocracoke for Easter.

  2. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Just caught up on a slew of posts that I've missed over the past several weeks and wanted to thank you for what seems to be an increase in photo posts.

    Whether it's the sea, treasures from the sea, or lonesome winter views through a snow-speckled window, your photos and those of your friends offer the rest of us out here a window into life on Ocracoke. So thanks, and please keep 'em coming.

    Separately, one of your posts recently mentioned Ocracoke's Boy Scout troop. Many folks know of the island's famed horseback-mounted troop, but your post is the first mention I've ever seen--in many years knocking about and reading about Ocracoke--of a current troop.

    Perhaps you might devote a future post--or offer space to one of the current scouts--to give a little insight into the activities of Ocracoke's Boy Scouts of the 21st century.

    Thanks as always, Philip.

  3. Leigh & Anonymous -- I responded to your comments on my post for Thursday, Feb. 25.