Saturday, April 05, 2014


I recently finished reading Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams. This southern novel is an entertaining romp through the college career of young Porter ("Sambo") Osbourne, Jr. Sambo is quite the prankster, but he is intelligent, and has been Raised Right. Through luck and cunning, this young, naive country boy manages to make his four years at Willingham College in Macon a rollicking adventure, and in the process grow up.

Late in the book Sambo has a father/son conversation. Talk turns to "home," their insular, rural community in the fictional county of Brewton, far removed from the big city. Sambo's daddy opines that he would "never be able to live happily in a place where I didn't recognize every name on all the tombstones and know which ones were mine."

Wooden Marker for Tilmon W. O'Neal

Tombstone for Failing Howard

Many folks on Ocracoke can identify with Mr. Osbourne.

Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    I admire the respect Ocracokers have always shown to the departed.
    Where else would you find a place like the British Cemetery

    1. Anonymous1:13 PM

      Hatteras Island.

    2. Anonymous8:25 AM

      There's a British Cemetery on Hatteras Island? Do tell more, please.

    3. Follow this link for more information about the British Cemeteries on Ocracoke & Hatteras:

  2. Anonymous12:58 AM

    Ferrol and his wife Helen were my doctors until they retired several years back. I have yet to find a doctor that made an office visit as comfortable as he could. The same wit and candor he used in his books were part of a visit with him. You could always tell when the "official visit" was over when he finished his notes and began to catch up on various family members and life in general. He has been greatly missed since his passing a few years ago.

    Whisper of the River is the second of three novels he wrote based on his early life. (Run with the Horsemen and When all the world was young are the other two.) In addition, he wrote several other collections of short stories. I am happy to know that others outside of our part of Georgia are enjoying one of my favorite authors. All of his work focuses on small town life and all the quirks it brings. Unfortunately, this way of life is disappearing all to quickly in our part of Georgia. I think that is one of the things that has always drawn me to Ocracoke. I think it was Fidler Dave who mentioned at a show one time an observation that on Ocracoke people lived among their ancestors. That small town way of looking at the world is a great thing,