Thursday, June 02, 2011


I hope I am as spry as Blanche when I am 91 years old. I stopped to see her a few days ago...and found her out in the yard, raking leaves. "Would you believe it?" she asked me, "I've gathered up 54 bags of leaves so far."

I tried to convince her that she didn't need to rake and bag leaves in this hot weather, but she insisted that once she got something in her mind she was determined to see it through! "It's what keeps me going," she said. I just shook my head, and thought, maybe she's right; maybe that's why she's made it into her 92nd year.

The next day I found her re-potting plants. But that time she was willing to stop for a few minutes to sit on her pizer and chat. She's doing as a tack, stubborn as a mule, sweet as honey, and as active as a 40 year old.

If you see her messing about in the graveyard this summer, introduce yourself and stop to chat for a few minutes.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the autobiography of Frank Treat Fulcher. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:02 AM

    That Blanche.....she's quite a special lady! What did she say when you showed her the picture/article in the June edition of "OUR STATE" magazine????????

    Boredom brings death early....we ALL need a purpose in life. The energy and purpose that Blanche has, I suspect she'll be around on Ocracoke Island for years to come!!!! She doesn't have a lazy bone in her body!

    You go girl!

  2. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Philip, could we impose on you to post a photo of Blanche?

  3. Anonymous9:39 AM

    " as a tack, stubborn as a mule, sweet as honey, and..." pretty as a speckled puppy in a red wagon.

  4. Blanche is not fond of having her picture taken...especially if she is not "presentable." And she is usually in work clothes tending to her plants and the graveyards. I'll do my best.

  5. Anonymous10:15 AM

    I love the Blanche stories. She is amazing. And for those who want a wonderful photograph of Blanche, get a copy of the June issue of Our State magazine mentioned by today's 8:02 a.m. commenter. Call 800-948-1409 to order that issue, $7. There is a beautiful photo of Blanche sitting on her pizer. It will quadruple your enjoyment of Philip's Blanche stories.

  6. Anonymous10:44 AM

    I don't mean to steal Blanche's thunder here but that magazine is on line. And there is a wonderful article on the King of Trash Carl Walker and the man clearly spells out landfill issues and the need to recycle reuse reduce. Perhaps next month the Blanche article will be posted or I just haven't located the current stories available to read.

  7. I checked the Our State web site. The Ocracoke article is on line...but Blanche's photo is not. I just asked her about having a picture made, and she gently & graciously said "no." She did mention that she is hoping to have her hair done soon, and I told her if she changes her mind afterwards to let me know.

  8. Anonymous12:54 PM

    54 bags of leaves. Do residents of OI compost??. If Blanche had a leaf blower with the accessory of a vacuum to suck up the leaves and grind them up her 54 bags of potential compost leaves ; would be no doubt be reduced to 20 bags of organic material--- to be shared as mulching material. Hopefully,, you will not find Blanche out in her back yard burning leaves. Now in my area paper bags are the only accepted means to gather the leaves up in for pick up. But why do gardeners throw away organic material which could be composted or used as mulch??. Can we start a fundraiser to buy Blanche a leaf grinder --to make better use of her 54 bags of leaves.

  9. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Has Blanche ever voted anyone off the island. Do Pelicans get to vote?

  10. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Vote Blanche for Mayor of Ocracoke! :) She has my vote!

  11. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Philip- I was amused by Blanche's reaction. My grandmother & I are the same way about pictures except for the gentle & gracious part.

  12. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Speaking of Blanche, my daughter lived in Asheville and found a book called "Ocracoke" in a local champagne/used book store. She gave it to me for Christmas and inside was an inscription from the author, Carl Goerch "To one of my best friends I've ever had - Miss Blanche" with love, Carl Gorerch." Could this be the same Blanche? I know he started Our State Magazine. For a time, this book was housed in the Southeast Regional Library of the Wake County Libraries stamped March 24, 1988. Do you think you could give us some insight?

  13. I will ask Blanche how well she knew Carl Goerch, and if she remembers such an inscription.

  14. Blanche says she may have met Carl Goerch, but only very briefly many years ago when she worked at the Wahab Village Hotel (now Blackbeard's Lodge). So it is not likely that Goerch's book was inscribed to her.

    Also...look for a photo of Blanche in a soon-to-be-published post!

  15. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Thank you kindly for asking her. We have been so curious over the last couple of months.

  16. Anonymous10:57 AM

    The Our State article quoted someone regarding change-- words to the effect don't come to OI and change things. Twice now, i have read of new place names mentioned and then the original name is mentioned. cafe names change and hotel names change -- why would someone say don't change this or that. Did OI have any resistance to change from whale oil lamps to electricity?

  17. Look for a future blog post about change.