Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wilbur & Jo Ko

While perusing old newspapers I came across this article from August 2, 1974 in the Carolina Beachcomber:


















"This cover is a new print offered by Jo Ko, resident artist at Ocracoke, and the subject is alive and well at Corkey's Grocery. Wilbur Gaskill is his name and his mother is the oldest woman living on Ocracoke Island.

"Wilbur exclaimed, "I love it here!" He agreed to pose for picture-taking at Silver Lake Harbor, the setting for many of Jo Ko's popular drawings.

"As we were getting things set up for photographs, a couple of Wilbur's friends walked by and observed, 'You just whittle anywhere, don't you Wilbur.'

'Wilbur has a bucket full of knives and is constantly buying new ones. 'It doesn't take long to wear one out carving as many birds as I do. I can't keep up with the customers. I carve seven or eight different kinds: Canadian goose, pelican, seagull, black skimmer, mallard, pintail and oyster catcher,' Wilbur said."

Joe ("Jo Ko") & Esther Koch, 1974

Wilbur Gaskill, 1974



































Wilbur was 68 years old when he died in 1980. Jo Ko died in March of 2012, just short of his 105th birthday.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July Birthdays

Lou Ann's birthday is today. She shares this birthday month with at least nine other island friends.


















On Sunday evening we hosted a July Birthdays Potluck Dinner Party.  The house was overflowing with people and scrumptious island delicacies -- boiled shrimp, corn casserole, baked pork, southern coleslaw, homemade bread, deviled eggs, rhubarb pie, and much more.














Happy Birthday, Lou Ann...and everyone else, both on the island & off, who is celebrating a July Birthday!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Newsletter -- Ocracoke Crab Festival

For six years...1984-1989...Ocracoke village hosted a Crab Festival in early May. There were contests -- fastest crab picking, tastiest crab recipes, crab pot pulling...and, of course, crab races! A King & Queen were crowned, as locals and visitors listened to down-home music, danced, watched jugglers & magicians, and browsed booths set up by artists and craftspeople.















But the highlight was steamed crabs...almost 2,000 pounds of delicious steamed crab meat...and kegs of beer.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a report on the Ocracoke Crab Festival. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pirate Jamboree

This message recently in:

"Chart your course to Ocracoke Island for Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree and a weekend of swashbuckling fun."

The event is scheduled for October 31 - November 2, 2014

"Canons will roar as members of Blackbeard's Pirate Crew invade Ocracoke Island by sea, featuring a three-ship battle in Ocracoke Harbor!













"Take part in a treasure hunt, enjoy pirate activities throughout the village, send the kids to Scallywag School and indulge in hearty safarers grub and grog while you shop at the scandalous pirate markets and spend your doubloons on arts, crafts, and pirate gear.


















"Join in the Fun!   Pirate Costumes Encouraged!"















More information at www.PirateJamboree.com.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ocracoke Wildlife & Arthur

Islanders and visitors often wonder how the Ocracoke ponies, bird & sea turtle nests, and other wildlife manage during and after a major hurricane.













Joycelyn Wright, chief biotechnician for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, has written an informative article for the Ocracoke Current. You can read it here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/91327.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Shrimp...

...and clams, all fresh from Pamlico Sound.


















Stop by Fat Boys Seafood on Lighthouse Road most days between 3 o'clock and 6:30 to purchase the fixin's for your seafood dinner.  James Barrie Gaskill, or his wife Ellen, is usually there to serve you, and to offer tips about how to prepare your meal. You might even get James Barrie to tell you the story of the Coast Guardsman who thought he'd arrived at the end of the world when he was stationed on the coast of North Carolina.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Maurice Ballance

Today at 1 pm the Ocracoke Community will gather at the United Methodist Church to celebrate the life of Maurice Ballance.

Maurice was born on the island 87 years ago, and died last Friday, July 11, at his home. Maurice was a retired port captain with the NC Ferry Division, and had worked as a commercial fisherman and carpenter (he often worked barefooted!). He had a keen mind, and a native's appreciation for his heritage and island history.

Maurice played guitar, and loved music. He entertained islanders frequently, especially with Edgar Howard before Edgar's death.

Edgar & Maurice, courtesy OPS















As a tribute to Maurice, several years ago Ocracoke village named one of our streets for him.














Maurice Ballance's obituary is available here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/91140.

Farewell, Maurice. Rest in Peace.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062114.htm.