In the past I published a few paragraphs from a 1939 interview with Ocracoke native Isaac (Big Ike) O'Neal (1865-1954). Here is another excerpt, reprinted especially for all of the parents in our reading audience!
"I remember the first money I ever made. There was
a clam factory here on the island. The man who owned
it paid 25 cents a basket for a five-peck basket of
clams. I was eight years old, went to Hatteras to get clams,
came back with thirteen bushels.
I took a yawl boat and was gone two weeks and the man paid me 75
cents, the first money I ever made. And that wasn't
money; the clam factory man paid off with due bills
that you had to trade out at his store. I got three 25
cent due bills.
"How did I feed myself during the two weeks I was
away from home? Well, I started out with two or three
pones of corn bread, some sweet potatoes and a cask of
water. I took along my steel and flint. Clams were
plentiful and two or three times I would catch me a
fish and broil it over the coals after I made a fire.
Slept on the beach rolled up in the sail cloth which I'd
taken off the yawl when I tied up for the night."
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a recording of Rex O'Neal telling
about the time he fell overboard when he was gigging for flounder. The
story was recorded for Coastal Voices, an oral history
project about the maritime heritage of the Outer Banks and Down East
region of coastal North Carolina. Click here to listen to Rex telling his story: https://carolinacoastalvoices.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/rex-oneal-gigging-flounders-2/.