Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Mr. Walter (1885-1976) and Miss Armeda ("Meter" 1890-1977) O'Neal were close friends of my parents. I loved to visit their house. When they died their refrigerator was still propped up on cinder blocks.  They had put it there as a precaution when the storm tide from the 1944 hurricane was washing over the island. They also had a plaster cast of a two-headed turtle they had discovered years before. It was quite a curiosity for a youngster.

Mr. Walter O'Neal (in white hat) at his Store

Mr. Walter liked to take us to the beach to find sand dollars. On the way he often recited one of his favorite poems:

Make new friends, but keep the old
Those are silver -- these are gold
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.

Friendship that has stood the test
Of time and change are surely best.
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow  gray
Friendship never knows decay.

So 'midst old friends, tried and true,
Let us now our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die,
New friends must their place supply.

Cherish friendship in your breast--
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old,
Those are silver -- these are gold.

Sage advice from one old time O'cocker.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022114.htm


  1. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Sniffle. Sniffle. That reminds me of a version of a Girl Scout song the troops would sing ,sniffle, round the campfire. Sob. sob. I wonder if there a melody for this verse to be sung? P.S. April is national poetry month.

  2. Sundae1:16 PM

    The Girl Scout Song goes:
    Make new friends, but keep the old
    One is silver and the other gold
    A circle is round, it has no end
    That's how long I want to be your friend.