Friday, August 24, 2018

Mass Communication on Ocracoke

The following paragraph is from a 2005 Technical Report of the National Park Service titled Ethnohistorical Description of the Eight Villages adjoining Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Interpretive Themes of History and Heritage (https://www.nps.gov/ethnography/research/docs/caha_ethno_v2.pdf):

"Early Communication: Islanders simply wrote letters until telephones became widespread on Ocracoke; the arrival of the mail boat was a daily source of excitement whether it was receiving news or hearing other folk’s news. Once radios became available in the 1920s, islanders gathered to listen to fights, shows, and music. 'Dad would sit there a rocking and listening to the old fiddlers on the radio from Nashville,' recalled a resident. When televisions were introduced in the 1950s, reception was bad and only one or two stations could be picked up. By the 1970s people were worried, however, that television – as well as the growing crowds of tourists - would quicken the erosion of the local dialect."

Cable TV arrived on the island in 1985. The Internet came to Ocracoke in the early 1990s, as it did to many other areas.

Although the distinctive Ocracoke dialect can still be heard, it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain as the years progress.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Mrs. Godfrey's ghost who haunts the Island Inn/Odd Fellows Lodge. The story is taken from Chapter Three of my book, Digging up Uncle Evans. You can read the account here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/mrs-godfreys-ghost/.

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