Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring is on the Way!

Ocracoke has finally had a taste of some sweet spring weather, and not a moment too soon! The warm sunshine got island folks out in their yards and at the beach, and now that a few shops and restaurants are opening, it almost feels like the season has begun.

But before we rush into thinking it’s summer already, we still have some nice winter moments to savor.

Bathing Beauties

Some people think we’d don’t get any tourists her in the winter, but that’s because they’re only thinking about the two-legged kind. Ocracoke’s beaches are a popular winter resort area for harbor seals that come down from colder waters up north. They’re pretty shy, so you can’t get too close, but our librarian Ingeborg Frye got some great shots of this sunbathing sea critter.

Variety Show Was a Great Success

On February 27th, the Ocracoke School gym was packed as the audience eagerly awaited a special Ocracoke Variety Show sponsored by the Ocracoke United Methodist Women. Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro organized the show, Gary Mitchell ran the sound, and community members volunteered to perform, set up the lights and chairs, and provide goodies for the bake sale.

The evening began with a puppet show by Linda Garrish and her puppeteer crew including Arleen Burley and children helpers. Other performers were Martin Garriah, Aaron Caswell, Jack Willis, Melissa Garrish, Mandy Jones, Gary Mitchell, Dave Tweedie, Molly Lovejoy, Caroline Temple, Emma Lovejoy, Katie O’Neal, DeAnna Locke, Manda Collis, Lulu Perez, Sundae Horn, Jamie Tunnell, Kati Wharton, Roger Garrish, Leslie Gilbert, William Gilbert, Bob Winslow, Samantha Styron, David Styron, the Ocracoke United Methodist Youth Band and the Last Rebels of Rock.

The benefit show raised $2300 towards repairs and renovations on the Church Rec Hall. The Methodist Women are trying to raise $60,000 for the Rec Hall, and have raised nearly $40,000 so far. They hosted two Sunday dinner fundraisers at the Rec Hall this winter, which together brought in $2700.

The Methodist Women had a new roof put on the Rec Hall, and the next step is to stabilize the building with a new foundation and replace the floor. The Rec Hall building was originally part of the WWII Naval Base on Ocracoker, and was moved to the church property in the late 1940’s. It has served the community in many capacities over the years. As well as being used by the Methodist Church, the Rec Hall has also been used as a temporary classroom for the school, as a meeting place for community organizations, as a meeting place for the Catholic community, and it is rented out to the public for showers, birthday parties, and wedding receptions.

Leslie and William Gilbert

Lulu Perez

Mandy & Melissa

Ocracoke Methodist Youth Choir

Women of Ocrafolk (Sundae Horn Lead)

The Last Rebels of Rock

Roger Garrish

Samantha and David Styron

Caroline Temple, Molly Lovejoy & Fiddler Dave

Ocracoke Methodist Choir

The Ocracoke Youth Center Also Put on a Show!

On March 2, Ocracoke Youth Center presented a one-act play for children, written and directed by artist-in-residence Cynthia Mitchell and performed at the Ocracoke Community Center. "Backyard Adventure" starred 5th graders Kevin Perez, Eldon Robinson, Deana Seitz, Caroline Temple and Chris Zito, high school junior D.J. Lukefahr, and adult performer Phyllis Wall.

The players gave two performances; a matinee for the Kindergarten through 3rd grade classes, and an evening show for the community. Ruth Toth provided refreshments for a reception following the evening performance.

Ocracoke School art teacher Kitty Mitchell designed the set with the of high school students Echo Bennink, Virginia Downes, Leslie Espinoza, Cassandra Hagins, Mitchell Ibarra, Molly Lovejoy and Maddie Payne. Ocracoke shop teacher Roger Meacham and D.J. Lukefahr built the set platform and Emma Lovejoy designed the programs and posters.

DJ Lukefahr

Chris Zito, Phyllis Wall, Deanna Seitz

Kevin Perez & Caroline Temple


"Backyard Adventure" was made possible in part by a grant from the Beaufort Arts Council.

Ocracoke School Spirit Week and Homecoming

Homecoming week at Ocracoke School is a week of fun, culminating in the presentation of the Homecoming Court and the last high school basketball game of the season. The kids get to dress up all week – each day has a different theme – all to help get them excited about Friday night’s main event.



Root for your favorite team!

Wait!? Are there three of them?

The festivities start at 4:30 with a hot dog sale, followed by relay races and basketball games played by the youngest Ocracoke Students. Those 3rd and 4th graders can really play some ball! The 5th – 8th grade league (two coed teams) played a close game, which was a warm-up for the 8th graders who would get another chance to play later in the evening with the high school.

Then it was time for the Homecoming Court – a chance to admire all the handsome young men and beautiful young women. Each high school girl is paired up with a boy to escort her (the teachers are the matchmakers) for the Homecoming Court presentation.

High school science teacher Jennifer Garrish introduced each couple and told a little something about them, mostly funny tidbits and inside jokes provided by the students. After the presentations, the Homecoming King and Queen, and Prince and Princess are crowned. (The entire student body gets to vote for the royal winners during school on Friday.) Everyone poses for pictures, and then it’s time to clear that floor again for the big game – Ocracoke boys v. other Ocracoke boys.

Homecoming isn’t an official conference game, but a fun community effort. High school boys who aren’t on the team suit up and play and the 8th graders get their chance to participate, too. Not to get too sappy about it or anything, but Homecoming, like the Variety Show and “Backyard Adventure,” is yet another example of Ocracoke’s smalltown spirit at its best.

What Are Your Plans For Old Quawk’s Day?

You mean you don’t know what Old Quawk’s Day is or even who Old Quawk was?

Well, time was when no O’cock waterman would go out on March 16th, in remembrance of Old Quawk. Old Quawk was an eccentric soul, who lived on Ocracoke about 200 years ago. He set out to fish his nets one day when the wind was a-gustin’ and all the other fishermen were staying safe at harbor. Quawk refused to let a little blow scare him, and, raising his fist at God in defiance, he went to sea – and never returned. March 16th was set aside as a bad luck day for fishing and sea travel, and O’cockers stayed in port even if the weather was perfect.

Here at Soundside Records, we’re not superstitious, but we’re a little bit stitious, so we think you should keep to the harbor, tell some sea stories and drink a toast to Old Quawk this Monday!
For more about this legend, check out Philip Howard’s story:

New Music From Soundside Records

Last week we promised you about John Golden’s newest CD, and here it is:

“Minstrel of the Times” by Ocrafolk Festival regular John Golden has a haunting, melancholy tone throughout. The album brings together some of John's favorite folk, Americana, and bluegrass songs. Augmented by many of John’s talented musician friends, the album brings out the best of his rich, mellow voice and folksy acoustic guitar and banjo style even if it does rather conceal his cheerful and upbeat disposition.

“Time to Learn,” written by Tim O’Brien, is a beautifully mournful song about dealing with the death of a loved one. The “high lonesome” voice of Gary Mitchell (who sings harmony throughout the CD) and exquisite fiddling of Dave Tweedie combine to make this song hard hear without having to wipe the old spectacles.

The familiar blues number “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers features the robust vocals of Katy Mitchell. John and Katy’s voices fit together well – and you’d never guess that someone so young could have a voice that sounds like thirtysome years of hard livin’. The Hugh Prestwood song “Ghost in this House,” made popular by Alison Krauss, features a hauntingly pleasing harmony by Marcy Brenner.

For a CD of sad songs, this one just about has it all from rodeos (“Saddle on the Wall”) to coal mining (“The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore”) to the Civil War (“Manassas in the Rain”). Pour yourself a strong one, grab a box of Kleenex and order a copy here.

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