Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Story

Many years ago (in the mid-1970s) a woman walked into Captain John's Junque Shop (located where Down Point Decoys is today) and asked, "Is there a beach here?"

Captain John's wife, Myrtle, asked, "How did you get here?"

The woman replied, "We came from Hatteras, across the ferry."

Myrtle explained, "Well, the entire way down on the left hand side, there's 16 miles of beach."

"Oh no," the woman said, "I mean a real beach with boardwalks and hotdog stands!"

I don't suppose she ever returned.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Hurricane House and the Hurricane Boards. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Well there are two Jersey Shores-- one in Pennsylvania and well Jersey. What does that tell you??

  2. debbie s.7:29 AM

    oh my......

    i just don't understand people like that but everyone has different tastes, I suppose..... lololol

  3. bill kostar7:36 AM

    My favorite similar story is of the lady who rather loudly asked at the Variey Store if they had any canned escargot.
    At first, deathly silence. Then there was laughter throughout the store.
    My guess is she's on a boardwalk somewhere!

  4. Bear MacDonald10:50 AM

    I might have been inclined to direct the woman to the Jersey Shore in Pennsylvania.

    I really enjoyed the portion of the Ocrafolk Festival when you and Captain Rob exchanged stories about Dingbatters.

  5. Anonymous3:55 PM

    This story made me HOL (Hah! out loud).

    It smacks of the feedback I heard from my cousins who once visited Ocracoke (and which I;ve shared here before): "But there's nothing to DO there!"

    To which I say, "Exactly!"

    And so, to my cousins, and all the other like-minded folk who can't see the beach for the beach, I offer up what is most likely to prove one more instance of invisibility, this final stanza from the famous Wallace Stevens poem The Snow Man:

    "For the listener, who listens in the snow,
    And, nothing himself, beholds
    Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."

    And for those of you who CAN see the beach at Ocracoke, and the "Nothing that is not there," I offer up this link to the entire poem:

    I hope you enjoy it, as you surely enjoy the wispy charms of Ocracoke.

  6. How about the gentleman in the Variety Store who asked, "How do you pronounce the name of this place?"

    He was told, "VAH-RYE-A-TEE STORE."

  7. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Oh boy, that's a good one! That's why there are those who love to go to beaches built up so much it's like NYC and then there are those of us who love the natural beauty of Ocracoke beaches....nothing built by humans, but all created by God.

    NC Mainlander feels sorry for those who just don't get what a real beach should be! They don't know what they are missing....that's okay....more serenity for the rest of us to enjoy!

  8. Anonymous9:23 AM

    When we were little, my parents moved us from West Chester County, NY to NJ. They had grown up sailing in the Long Island Sound. When we got to NJ, everyone told my parents about going "Down SHore", so they took us for one week to Ocean City, NJ. THEY HATED IT! They hated to boardwalk, the crowds, all of it. Then National Geographic did a cover story on the Outer Banks. My mother and aunt did the research and we were all off to Salvo for the very first, but not last, time. Since then, we have stayed in Avon and also Ocracoke, all of getting married and bringing our own children here. It is the beach, the history, the sense of belonging that keeps us in love with it and coming back. I tell people not to come if they don't enjoy their own family and solitude. It's that easy.

    We just came back from our trip and Philip, we stopped last Saturday at Village Craftsmen thinking we'd find you there. Didn't know you would not be there at all! I wanted to thank you personally for sharing your thoughts on this daily blog and let you know how much it has become part of my day. Thank you!

  9. Anonymous1:10 PM

    There are two kinds of "intelligent" - First are the crafty wise insightful intelligent people - those who have a love and knowledge of nature and community, who find the pace of Ocracoke pure bliss and then there are stupid intelligent - the ones who have to be entertained; the ones who have to have putt-putt golf, movie theaters, outlet malls, etc. or they say there is "nothing to do."

    She can have her hot dog - I'll take some wahoo or other great fish at the Jolly Roger (Or Howards or the Back Porch or...) any day!!

    I think of all of the other wonderful readers of Phillip's blog - the wise intelligent!! :)

    Looking forward to Ocracoke 2013!! Save some sand and figs for me!

  10. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Another poem, by another keen observer of "nothing," that also reminded me of Ocracoke:

  11. outside_of_apex6:42 PM

    I heard this story about 2 or three years ago.

    A tourist asked a local "Where is Teach's Hole?" obviously meaning the store across the road.

    His reply "I reckon it's at about the same place where yours is".

  12. Firstly, I LOVE your blog! I've been catching up on your blog as well as Lou Ann's today; work has been a bit busy here in Virginia, but today, I decided to make a point of catching up. I abosolutely love Ocracoke as it's peacefulness reminds me of the beach we would go to when I was younger. I've rarely been to any other beach outside of NC, but it was only in later years that I found the joy of the Outer Banks and more specifically, Ocracoke. The poems that were listed here inspored me to post something...

    Yesterday, I put my mind to writing a little something that I prefere to call a "pome" and not an actual poem... I was changing my computer desktop image to a picture of OI and it just kind of came out. I enjoy bouncing words rhythmically and it's something that I do to pass the time and entertain myself and a few who are brave enough to read them (and you've been warned :-) ). Here it is:

    Ocracoke - Robb Foster

    To sit on Ocracoke my friend
    And watch the sun go down again
    The sails unfurled to catch the wind
    Our souls will start to knit and mend

    The calming sound of ferry horns
    And laughing gulls that never mourn
    That evening breeze to kiss my face
    It tells us "Here's your healing place."

    I'll travel on to points unknown
    With mem'ries sure to wax upon
    But nowhere heals me when I'm broke
    Quite like the isle of Ocracoke...