Thursday, February 25, 2010

Questions...& Answers

I was off the island for a while...and didn't answer a number of questions that readers posed. So I'll rectify that oversight in today's blog. Here goes:
  • "Do you ever find sea glass on Ocracoke's beaches?" Rarely, although I understand there is a fair amount of it on the northern beaches (in the Nags Head area). Don't know why this is so.
  • A reader asked about a book on Ocracoke and WWII by a local author. The book is Ocracoke Island: its People, the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Base During World War II, by Earl O'Neal, Jr., and is available from the Ocracoke Preservation Society. You can order it here:
  • Another reader asked if I would share more information about our local boy scout troop. I will keep this in mind for another post, or maybe even a monthly newsletter.
  • I was asked, "Will you be at the concert [the annual celebration of the Feedmen's Colony, on Friday, Feb. 26, in Manteo]? I understand there will be a surprise guest." I doubt it. I just got back home last night, and don't want to get in a car for a while. I'll ask friends in Manteo about the surprise guest.
  • "Where do Ocracokers generally buy things like coffeemakers or kitchen appliances, bed linens, etc.?" A few of these smaller items are available locally at the Variety Store, but most islanders shop off island (in the Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills area, or in Norfolk or Greensboro) or on-line for these types of purchases.
  • "Is it possible to ride bikes on the beach? I've seen people riding bikes on other beaches, but never on Ocracoke." If the sand is packed down and very hard it is possible to ride bikes on the beach (I see this occasionally), but there are usually soft places at frequent intervals, so it's generally not much fun.
  • "Are there nice, sandy beaches on the sound side of the island, or are those reserved for the ocean side?" Not really, although there are a couple of small beaches that are not easily accessible. Most of the sound side is shallow, marshy, and hard to get to.
  • "The map you have on your website "The Complete Illustrated Map of Ocracoke Island" ... is that a modern-day or historical map?" Both. It shows the present day boundaries and modern landmarks, but it also includes the historic (and often unfamiliar) place names for many areas of the island.
  • "Where do people go to watch the fireworks? The life-guarded beach? Can they be seen from the village or do the trees obscure the view?" It is highly unlikely that Ocracoke will have any fireworks displays in the near future because of the explosion and tragedy last 4th of July. In the past they were launched behind the NCCAT (old Coast Guard) building, and could be seen from anywhere in the village.
I hope this helps. Post more questions if you like. I'll answer as best I can.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoker, Kelly O'Neal, and the 1951 revolution in Siam (Thailand). You can read it here:


  1. Marcy Desulis12:59 PM

    Welcome back, Philip! Did you and LouAnne make it to Bonneyville Mill and if so, did you get any flour? Their cornmeal (actually stoneground) is the best for cornbread. Indiana has some interesting places, but I wouldn't want to live there again. Is Jude back yet?
    See you the middle of March!
    Marcy Desulis

  2. Marcy, we did not go to Bonneyville Mill, but we did attend the symphony at the Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne, hiked in the snow, taught square dancing to a youth group, saw a few movies, celebrated Chinese New Year with friends, and generally had a great time. Jude is not back yet. Can't remember when she and Frank are scheduled to return (fully tanned I'm sure!). The middle of March is only a few short weeks away! See you then.

  3. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Very helpful ... thank you!

  4. Hi Marcy,
    I am going to go to the mill, just for you...actually I have been there once with my kids when they were young. Great field trip! I really enjoy the beauty of Indiana, maybe because I am lucky enough to live in the far northeastern corner with lakes and hills and lots of snow!! Lou Ann