Cheryl Ballance, Nicole O’Neal and Erin O’Neal unload treasures at the Island-Wide Yard Sale Saturday. Photo by Rita Thiel

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By Rita Thiel

Blackbeard’s treasure is still a mystery on Ocracoke, but hunters were out in force Saturday during the island’s first all-day, Island-Wide Yard Sale.

Sponsored by the Ocracoke Civic & Business Assn., islanders and visitors fanned out in droves as soon as sellers opened for business at 8 a.m.

A community yard sale has long been an idea of OCBA President Rudy Austin, and success showed as about 40 sellers began selling a plethora of wares from housewares, clam rakes, fishing reels, designer clothing, furniture and fine artwork.

Visitors Lara, Julia and Josh Boudreau stopped by Jennifer and Stevie Wilson’s house while in search of items to cross off their “Yard Sale Bingo” card.

Lara Boudreau, right, finds a few items on her yard-sale Bingo card at Jennifer Wilson’s house. Photo by Rita Thiel

The Boudreaus, of Harker’s Island, and other family members from Morehead City and New York each had a homemade bingo-type card on which to mark off the items with Xs  that might be found at yard sales.

At the Wilson’s house, Lara and Josh were running neck and neck on their cards. The winner’s prize was yet to be determined.

Debbie Wells offered a variety of items, including assorted linens, artwork and an antique couch that needed a new home.

Tory Kane and daughter, Marissa Parker, found items that tickled their fancy.

“It’s fun,” Kane said.

I loved that we had this. I wish we could do this twice a year.”  Among Kane’s and Parker’s found treasures that day were an oriental rug that once belonged to a resident’s mother who wanted it to stay local, and an heirloom glass-covered cake pedestal whose owner also was glad it was staying on Ocracoke.

Cheryl Ballance, Christine NcNerney and Erin O’Neal were manning the Ocracoke Health Center tables, with all proceeds going to the health center.  

“Employees, health center board members, their families and friends all donated items for us to use today,” said Ballance.

“I hope they do it every year,” McNerney added as shoppers perused the stacks of clothing, household goods and other merchandise.

Handmade clothing could be found at various sites with some vendors sharing space with other vendors, or simply setting up in open areas around the village.  The Ocracoke Coffee Company offered space to anyone who needed a place to set up their goods.

Robin and Chad Macek, owners of Oscar’s House B&B, had multiple tables under a canopy tent to offer such things as decorator pillows, framed artwork, clothing, baskets and more.

There was even homemade chocolate chip banana bread, free for anyone to savor while shopping.

“We’ve sold a lot of pillows and baskets this morning,” Macek said. “We were a little doubtful about the rain yesterday, but this morning Chad was up early and had everything set up. We would do this again next year.”  

The treasure display at Oscars House BB. Photo by Rita Thiel

Stopping at Macek’s stand, Dee Donnelly and Amy Perdue, of Richmond, Va., were being patient in their purchases, waiting for that special item to speak to them. 

“This is another fun thing Ocracoke does as a community,” Purdue said.

At Edward’s of Ocracoke Cottages, Wayne and Trudy Clark were enthusiastic about the yard sale.

“I wanted to support the yard sale, that’s the main thing,” Wayne said. “We’ve spent 15 to 20 hours the past couple of days preparing.”  

When asked what a particular, odd item was on his table, he said, “Well, I don’t really know anymore. I’ve had it so long.  I’ve asked everyone who looks at it if they know what it is, and so far, no one does. That’s how you know you’ve had something too long.”

Success showed from vendors and customers expressing the hope of making this an annual affair.  

“I talked to Rudy and he got around to a lot of places and thought it went well despite the puddles,” said Helena Stevens, OCBA executive director. “Everyone I talked to really liked it and wants to do it next year. I think it will be a tradition.”

Jennifer Garrish finds a shadow box. Photo by Rita Thiel
Yard-sale goers had to navigate puddles like this one at Edwards of Ocracoke on Saturday following a rain storm Friday night. Photo by Rita Thiel
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