Friday, September 07, 2018


Recently, while enjoying dinner with a cousin/neighbor, talk turned to island barbers. We recalled at least a dozen people who cut hair, mostly nonprofessionals who seldom charged for their services. In years gone by islanders were simply accustomed to taking matters into their own hands, and doing what needed to be done. For example, my father, Lawton, routinely cut the hair of his friend Zora Bable. In turn, Zora cut my father's hair.

Years ago, while working on dredge boats on the Delaware River, my father developed a reputation for doing a pretty good job cutting hair. He charged 50 cents.

Manual Hair Clippers

One day a fellow crew member wanted his hair cut, but explained that he only had a quarter. He assured my father he would pay the other twenty-five cents when he received his pay. My father told him to sit down as he brought out his clippers and comb. Dad proceeded to trim around his fellow-sailor's right ear, then worked his way up until he reached the middle of the top of his head...then stopped. "There's your quarter's worth," Dad said. "I'll finish up after you bring me the other quarter."

 As you can imagine, it wasn't long before Dad got his other twenty-five cents!

Of course, anyone who knew my dad well knew he was just messing with his friend. He would have finished the haircut in due time. But he was enjoying the prank as long as he could.

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:

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