Friday, September 24, 2010

Epherena & Alexander Garrish

Cousin Blanche is such an island treasure. Several days ago I had a comment on this Journal from the great-granddaughter of Epherena & Alexander Garrish. A second comment identified her as the granddaughter of William Calas Garrish, but she said she had never met her grandfather's Ocracoke family and could find no information about him...although she obviously was very fond of him.

Last night I stopped by to visit Blanche and I mentioned Epherena, Alexander, & Calas. Blanche remembered "Freener" and Alex's home and yard (she even remembered what shoes she was wearing when she visited them on one occasion!), how much damage was done to the house during the 1944 hurricane, and other details about the family. She remembered Calas and Ida's daughter Edith because Blanche and she were the same age, and they were in first grade together.

The Garrishes moved to Philadelphia after the '44 storm, and Blanche said all of the Ocracokers who went to Philly to work would gather at Calas' house from time to time to play and listen to music. Blanche remembers how much everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and good times they had at Calas' home.

If Calas' granddaughter (Florence? or Roberta?) is reading this, and you would like me to put you in touch with Blanche, please leave a comment with your email address and I'll send you information about how you can contact her.

If any of our readers would like a chance to win this beautiful Ocracoke quilt, just click on the photo below to purchase raffle tickets (please keep in mind that the photo and description on the re-direct page is last year's quilt; you will be purchasing tickets for a chance to win the quilt pictured below.)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke native Major General Ira Thomas Wyche. You can read the complete story here:


  1. Hello Philip-
    I love reading your Ocracoke Island Journal- it's always interesting!
    I have been to Ocracoke many times since 1975- but it's been a long while since my last visit. Once I stayed in the little Meeker house by the lake- I was playing music at the school that year- & loved the house. Do you know who is in charge of renting it? I have tried to find it online but haven't had any luck.

    Thanks, take care, & hope you are having a great day!

    Nancy B Strange

  2. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Philip-can-t thank u enough-you made my day! You're right abt.Blanche-she even knew our names! Wanted to write more but didn't want 2 bother u. I recall 2 very nice men from Ocr. who visited O'NEAL & LAFAYETTE HOWARD. When EDGAR & WALTER HOWARD came he got his guitar & they picked in the parlor. Nobody told me they were cousins. When u mentioned JAKE, I remembered him standing in the rain with a suitcase-said he was my cousin but I didn't believe him. Just this yr searching for & his Ocracoke did I realize. My search led me back to your journal so many x that now I am totally hooked. I have no Email-would u mind if I write her care of your POB? P.S. She's not the only treasure. DIS-CO

  3. You can write to Blanche directly at PO Box 176, Ocracoke, NC 27960. She says she only saw Mr. Alex one time (he was old then), and Calas only a few times (he moved off the island when she was young), but she does remember Freena & Edith and a number of little details about your Ocracoke family.

  4. Hi Nancy!

    I am guessing that Leonard & Beverly Meeker handle their cottage themselves. Try writing to them at Ocracoke, NC 27960. If not, they will be able to direct you to the correct rental agent.

    Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Anonymous3:36 PM

    Philip-How very thougtful of you. Is Blanche in good health? What kin is she to Edith? O I can't wait! Would love to read your book too if I can order without an email. Many thanks--DIS tant-CO-usin

  6. Blanche is in great health. I'm not sure how she (we) are kin to you. I will try to work it out...but Blanche likely knows. You can order my book by calling 252-928-5541 between 10 am and 5 pm, Monday-Friday.

  7. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Ok good - & don't 4get - I'm first on the list when u write the next great "Ocracokers" Disco


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