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Spotted on Ocracoke: Another Glimpse of Winter Light


December 2010
Text and photo by Peter Vankevich


Sunset beach PS IMG_3800

What is spotted this month is not a curious artifact but an impressionistic mood. As Yogi Berra allegedly aid, this
is a season when it gets late early. A sense of serenity seems to overwhelm both the island and me. Outside the village, the island’s only road has a bit of traffic based around the Hatteras ferry schedule, but is mostly silent. The beach has far more sandpipers and gulls than people, and in late afternoon you may very well be the only person

there on a slow stroll. Off the breakers, dolphins and pelicans propel back and forth. Late afternoon as dusk  approaches, the appearance of the sky, clouds, and sun may change from one moment to another, often with spectacular shifting shades of gold and red. Accompanying this beauty is a real soundtrack of the irregular slow cadence of falling waves. With nature so crisp and vibrant, it is my favorite time on Ocracoke.

What a way to end the year.

Spotted on Ocracoke: a homing pigeon named Paloma



White dove paloma 2010-10-02 17.34.40
Homing pigeon on Ocracoke. Named Paloma by Mickey Baker

Spotted on Ocracoke:  A Homing Pigeon 

Text and photo by Peter Vankevich
November 2010 

The storm system around the beginning of October (2010) brought out a sense of the isolation of Ocracoke. The ferry system closed down for several days, electric power went off and on, and school was closed for a day. Yet, the island missed the torrential downpours that hit the mainland, and we were faced with lots of exhilarating wind and just a bit of rain (a mere few inches). Two wonderful and packed concerts took place at Deep Water Theater and everyone seemed to be in a good mood. To live on Ocracoke, you have to like interesting weather. This leads into our topic of interest this month, a beautiful and somewhat surprising visitor.

Here’s the story: On October 2, as I was riding my bike through the village, I notice Mickey Baker wielding a large fishing rod and shaking it towards the roof of her business the Mermaid’s Folly, located just across from the Community Square. As I turned to get a better a view, I saw a pure white bird on the roof. Above it on the ridge were several gulls. “What’s up? “ I asked. “The Laughing Gulls were harassing this dove that just showed up. I threw some corn up for it,” she said. Indeed, the dove seemed contented to be eating and was not at all disturbed by the rod, the gulls or us humans.

The bird in the photo appeared to me to be a homing pigeon. My curiosity was peaked. How did it get there? With a stroke of Serendipity (a word these days that is ingrained in the Outer Banks culture), the Island Free Press recently did a nice profile on Hatteras Doves, run by Liz Browning Fox, her brother Lou Browning and his wife, Linda Meyer Browning. They raise and train white homing pigeons and will release them at weddings, birthdays, funerals and other commemorative events.

So I sent them a photo of it and Liz confirmed that it is indeed a Rock Dove/homing pigeon noting the yellowish eye rings and finely feathered nares. Equally important she confirmed that it wasn’t one of theirs that may have strayed off. They band all of their birds with a Hatteras Doves insignia and each bird’s individual name such as Breeze, Cloud, Diver and Swede 16. The Ocracoke bird does is not banded.

So what are Homing pigeons? They are a variety of the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) which can be found in almost every community but Ocracoke, that have been selectively bred to find their way home over extremely long distances. Originating in the Middle East, they have been around for more than 3000 years. Also referred to as Carrier Pigeons, they have been used to transport messages rolled into small tubes and attached to their legs, a very important mode of transport over the centuries, especially during times of war. They are capable of finding their way home from distances or more than one thousand miles. A lot of experiments and research have been conducted in trying to learn how they are capable to returning to their roosts from unknown locations. Do they rely on a sense of direction (compass theory) or location (map theory) or a combination thereof? Reliance on the sun, the earth’s magnetic fields and even a hypothesis called Olfactory navigation which is an odor map that these pigeons would use by associating smells of the home loft with the directions from which they are carried by winds have been postulated. The problem with the last theory is that, unlike the Turkey Vulture, pigeons do not possess a strong sense of smell.

I once unexpectedly witnessed a release a few years ago when on a birding trip to Cape May. On a nice fall Saturday morning at a long distance I noticed a flock of white birds take to the air. Too small to be Snowy Egrets I thought. With the use of a scope, I saw a church steeple and was able to determine that they were dove/pigeons. I marveled at how they kept together, flew in a tight flock around and around then headed away.  Another time I was on the Delaware Bay when I watched a single white bird flying rapidly across the water and then along the beach. That couldn’t be a rare Ivory Gull I initially thought. I managed to take a nice photo of it and determined that it was a white homing pigeon that may have somehow separated from its flock and was perhaps heading home on its own.

So how did this bird suddenly appear on Ocracoke? Very possibly the storm system with its high winds may very well be a factor. Since it is not banded, for now it is a bit of a mystery. Its sudden presence recalls one of my favorite movie endings. Robert Redford, a high stakes poker player who got caught in the political intrigue of the 1959 New Year’s Cuban revolution due to a romance with Lena Olin visits Key West a few years later. Lighting up a cigarette and looking south to Havana (the movie’s name), he launches into a soliloquy and concludes with what may equally apply to Ocracoke: You never know who may show up. Somebody blown off course. This is hurricane country.



Amidst a mandatory evacuation a wedding takes place




Freddy Contreras wedding 2015-10-01 17.07.56

By Peter Vankevich

The lead up to many weddings can be exciting and stressful when things can go wrong. Most finish well. Many married couples will have empathy and a sense of solidarity when they find out what these two love birds encountered in the past two weeks.

Island residents, Freddy Contreras and Courtney Contreras, née Courtney Colin had been dreaming and planning their wedding for more than a year and a half, soon after Freddy proposed to Courtney in his hometown on a New Year’s eve in Mexico while they were on vacation. The ring was baked into a cake and Freddy removed it and presented it to her amidst much fanfare at party.

Freddy Contreras wedding 2015-10-01 16.37.15
Getting ready for the wedding at Ocracoke’s Assembly Church of God. Photo by Peter Vankevich

The two met while working at the island’s popular restaurant. Courtney said she was immediately smitten by Freddy. Freddy was more slow to the take, not realizing how much Courtney cared for him.  He eventually caught on and the feelings became mutual.

Courtney was born and grew up in South Africa.  Her family moved to Kansas and her father served as a pastoral minister. After studying  at Baker University in Baldwin Kansas with an emphasis on massmedia and Kansas City Community College she studied counseling, she worked with refugees, primarily form Latin America. After a period of time he decided that her calling was to return to South Africa. Courtney  was recruited to work on Ocracoke by long-time friend of Justin , son of Doug and Judy Eifert, the owners of Dajios, which is in the building that was formerly the Pelican restaurant. Dajio is an acronym for Doug and Judy in Ocracoke. She accepted  the offer in order  to save money for her trip.

Freddy moved to Ocracoke as a teenager from his native Hidalgo, Mexico. . Due to circumstances, he was not able to complete his high school and a few years ago, walked into the Ocracoke Library and and inquired how he could obtain a GED. He was paired up with Gary Davis and the two of them worked diligently to pass the difficult test.

Not only did he pass, but obtained such a high grade, he qualified for scholarships and he has been taking online courses with an emphasis on translating and interpreting Spanish and English while continuing to work as the morning chef at Dajios. He nows works as an interpreter as needed at the Ocracoke Health Center and for the Hyde County government. He also is responsible for the translations for the Ocracoke Observer.

Kiss of the year. Courtney and Freddy Conreras are now man and wife. Photo by P. Vankevich
Kiss of the year. Courtney and Freddy Conreras are now man and wife. Photo by P. Vankevich

The wedding was originally planned to be outside on the grounds of  Books to be Red in the  same location that the Ocrafolk Festival takes place the first weekend in June. Ten or so days before, Ocracoke started to get rain – lots of it. Leslie Lanier, owner of  the book store  let them know that if the rain stopped by Monday before the Thursday date, the locations should be dry enough. It didn’t.

Additionally a fast-forming storm system in the Caribbean became Hurricane Joaquin and began threatening to strike Ocracoke. Pastor Ivey Belch of the United Assembly of God church on Lighthouse Rd. offered them the  use of the church which they graciously accepted and the outdoor reception was moved to the Community Center.

Courtney and Flower girl, Ava Loya. Poto by Jameson Colin
Courtney and Flower girl, Ava Loya. Photo by Jameson Colin

Meanwhile, about 25 friends and family were headed to  Ocracoke for the wedding and soon after their arrival, and the Hyde County commissioners announced that there would be a mandatory evacuation just one hour before the weeding.

Officiating Pastor Dan Chaverin from Kansas. Photo by P. Vankevich
Officiating Pastor Dan Chaverin from Kansas. Photo by P. Vankevich

Courtney’s pastor Dan Cheverin of the Westside Family Church in Kansas, traveled to the island for the first time. “I’ve officiated for many weddings, but none have been under a hurricane threat,” he laughed.

“The good news is we got through.”

At the reception  several of the midwestern guests,  accustomed to dealing with tornado threats but not hurricanes said they  found  the atmosphere a  combination  of the excitement to  be on the island, with a sprinkling of mild anxiety.
“I think all of my Kansas and South African friends and family were all off island by 10 a.m the next day,” said Courtney. It turned out that the hurricane veered east well into the Atlantic which spared Ocracoke a direct hit that many experts feared.

Freddy’s family and many friends were denizens of Ocracoke and took the emergency in stride.

The wedding was bilingual, English and Spanish, so there were some chuckles for Spanish speakers, followed by those that speak English, after hearing the English. Courtney’s mom, Becky Colin and her sister Jameson were readers at the ceremony.

Coyote, Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro, performed at the reception and the food was prepared by Freddy’s mother Cira Contreras and desserts by islander Carol Ritchie.

Coyote, Lou Castro and Marcy Brenner. Photo by P. Vankevich
Coyote, Lou Castro and Marcy Brenner. Photo by P. Vankevich

“Married life and life in general requires one to take into stride the unexpected and one must deal with it,” said Courtney  while Freddy nodded in agreement.

The challenging circumstances bode well for  a happy marriage.”Boda” is Spanish for wedding,  but we’re not sure how to make a bilingual pun. So let’s finish with this, upon hearing of  a potential hurricane heading to Ocracoke, one could evoke, “I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.”


Spotted on Ocracoke: The Lion’s Mane

Lion's Mane. Photo by P. Vankevich
Lion’s Mane. Photo by P. Vankevich

September 2010

Text and Photo by Peter Vankevich

Two years ago or so, I featured in this column the Cannonball Jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris) that had been spotted just off the beach at Springer’s Point. I noted that unlike many jel­lyfish, their toxins are rela­tively harmless to humans with little stinging capabili­ties. This month’s feature, an­other jellyfish (or these days also called “sea jellies”), goes by the curious name of Lion’s Mane (Cyanea capillata) and deserves a little more atten­tion in how it is approached as was illustrated in a rather bizarre beach incident that occurred up north earlier in the summer.

This species gets its name from its very long tentacles that some thought looks like the mane of a lion. It is par­ticularly noteworthy for being not only the world’s largest jellyfish but capable of grow­ing into one of the longest animals in the world, one specimen caught back in 1870 measured 120 feet, longer than a Blue Whale! The large crown, called the bell, can range from a diameter as lit­tle as five inches up to nearly seven feet. They are normally denizens of the northern cold waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. On the Atlantic side, most of the year they rarely venture below the 42nd parallel, i.e. around Cape Cod. They will drift onto the Outer Banks, how­ever, when the waters cool in late fall and winter so it was a bit of a surprise to me to see this one beached near the Ocracoke/Hatteras ferry ter­minal on June 6, 2010.

Lion’s Mane feed primar­ily on zooplankton, small fish, ctenophores (when pro­nounced the c is silent), and moon jellies. On the other side of this food chain, its predators include seabirds, large fish and sea turtles. It is a member of the phylum Cni­daria (pronounced nigh-dar­ia, another silent c). A noto­rious trait of Cnidaria is that they have microscopic struc­tures known as nematocysts located along their tentacles which inject toxins into their prey. Nematocysts will cause variable degrees of stinging sensations when they come in contact with human skin which is a good reason to avoid touching them.

This species made quite a splash in the news earlier in the summer when it was re­ported that up to 150 people were stung by a large jellyfish on a popular beach in New Hampshire within a period of about one half hour.

So what happened? Accord­ing to several news reports, a very large jellyfish weighing up to fifty pounds with ten­tacles as long as 12 feet was spotted in the water among many swimmers. Lifeguards attempted to pull it to shore with a pitchfork resulting in breaking the tentacles into many pieces that ended up both in the water and on the beach.

People soon began complaining of itchiness and a stinging sensation. There was so much commotion that five ambulances and a hook and ladder truck showed up, and according to one report, the lifeguards were sent to local stores to purchase the recommended antidotes bak­ing soda and vinegar. No one was seriously injured, but a few children were sent to the hospital as a precautionary measure and released.

So what can be done if one encounters a Lion’s Mane on Ocracoke? Well the preferred method of removal would not be by pitchfork amidst a bunch of swimmers – an ex­tremely unlikely event on Oc­racoke. In fact, they are best left alone. If one is seen on the beach, avoid walking barefoot in the area since there may be pieces of hard to see ten­tacles around. They may still produce stings up to three or four days after breaking off.

If seen in water while swimming, move away from that immediate area. The sting of a Lion’s mane is not considered dangerous, but common sense dictates, like a bee sting, if one encounters symptoms that are severe such as dizziness or respira­tory distress after coming into contact with one, the person should seek medical atten­tion immediately.

This sea jelly enjoys a bit of literary fame thanks to one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes writings called The Adventures of the Lion’s Mane. This is one of the few stories narrated by Hol­mes himself rather than by Dr. Watson. (Doc. Watson is a much better story teller.) Hol­mes observes a man running from the beach in apparent distress mutters the phrase “Lion’s Mane” and drops dead.

The rest of the story in­volves eliminating suspects and concluding that that the killer was the jellyfish. Early on it was observed that the victim had a heart condition that saved Doyle from taking much more than a tad of po­etic license.

Ocracoke’s Artists’ Colony




By Philip Howard

“Is there an artists’ colony on Ocracoke?” is a ques­tion I frequently hear.

“We do have a number of tal­ented artists and musicians,” I reply, “but, no, there is no formal or orga­nized Artists’ colony on the island.”

Ocracoke Island suits artistic types very well, and it is not surprising that visitors wonder if an organized colony has ever been established here. Although there is no artists’ colony on the island today, Ocracoke was the site of a small experimental com­munity that flourished here more than sixty years ago.

The worldwide movement that spawned the quintessential art­ists’ colony emerged in the mid to late 1800s and continued robustly through the early twentieth cen­tury. It is estimated that thousands of artists participated in nearly one hundred art communities in Eu­rope, Australia, and the Americas during that time.

In the early twentieth century Ocracoke was especially remote from cities, government interfer­ence in private affairs, and societal expectations. Without paved roads or ferry service, Ocracoke’s primary link to the mainland was the four and a half hour trip by mail boat to Atlantic, on the mainland of North Carolina. The island’s isolation and easy ac­ceptance of strangers helps explain why a small group of artists and writers established their “Island Work­shop” here in 1940.

Unlike many counterparts in Europe and elsewhere in the Unit­ed States, the Island Workshop was neither a highly structured year-round community, nor an independent and self-contained community of transient artists and writers. Rather, it was a two-month long summer endeavor that was somewhat integrated into the year-round and long-established village of Ocracoke.


In 1935, Ocracoke resident Stan­ley Wahab built an inexpensive replica of a Spanish style build­ing on the island, near where the Back Porch Restaurant sits today, to be part of his larger operation which included the Wahab Village Hotel (later renamed Blackbeard’s Lodge) and separate motel units dubbed the Green Apartments.

Made of plywood strewn with gravel while the earth-colored paint was still wet, the 400 square foot Spanish Casino mimicked an adobe hacienda. The flat roofed structure had extended and cren­ulated exterior walls with gently curving main sections. Windows were topped with decorative trim, and crosses within circles paint­ed near the roof line suggested a southwestern theme. An open porch on the ocean-facing side was supported by peeled cedar posts, adding to the Spanish motif.

The interior of the Spanish Casino was one large room with a raised platform on the western September 2010 wall to accommodate a piano and musicians. Benches were placed along the walls, leaving a sizable dance floor in the middle. Island natives, Edgar and Walter Howard, brothers who had moved to New York City to play vaudeville in the 1920s and 1930s, came home periodically to en­tertain their fellow island­ers. The popular music of the day included cowboy and western songs and ballads. Once in a while Edgar’s banjo and Walter’s guitar accompanied nation­ally popular entertainers who followed the Howard brothers to Ocracoke. At times, other island musi­cians played at the Spanish Casino. When live music was unavailable a jukebox served nightly to provide tunes for round dances, jitterbug, and traditional island square dances.

Stanley Wahab included a small canteen to serve his customers. Candy, cigarettes, and soft drinks were popular items. Eventually the Spanish Casino also offered hamburgers. Some years earlier, under the influence of Mr.Shaw, one of the Methodist preachers, sales of alcoholic beverages had been banned on Ocracoke Island. It was a rare night, however, when homemade meal wine did not flow freely behind the build­ing or on the other side of the sand dunes.


In the summer of 1938 Vernon Albert Ward, Jr., a young man from eastern North Carolina, procured a job as manager of Stanley Wahab’s three-year-old “Spanish Casino.” Ver­non who found his way to Ocracoke in the late 1930s had graduated from the Uni­versity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in English, and a specialization in creative writing. Although more educated than the local population, Ward quickly and easily settled into the community and made many friends. He was also a budding poet who had made contacts with other writers and art­ists from western North Carolina, New York, and Europe. Whether it was originally his idea, or some­one else’s, the notion of an island workshop for artists and writers took shape. Vernon Ward became the organizer and contact person. Soon a catalog was created and advertisements placed in regional and national magazines.

Ocracoke’s first season for the artists’ colony was scheduled for July and August, 1940. Although the location was listed as Wahab Village, many of the classes were held in the local schoolhouse. En­tertainment included dances at the Spanish Casino. Accommoda­tions were arranged at the Wahab Village Hotel. The total cost for two months (room, board, tuition, and entertainment) amounted to a mere $200. Attractions included “swimming, boating, fishing, danc­ing, and excursions.” Ocracoke was hailed as the “world’s widest and most beautiful seashore.”

Courses included painting, sculpture, art history, creative writ­ing, history of literature, Indian crafts, and physical education. The Island Workshop attracted an im­pressive list of talented teachers. Among them was Blanche C. Weill, a San Francisco native who stud­ied in Europe with educator Maria Montessori and with psychoanalyst Alfred Adler. Weill earned a doc­torate at Harvard practiced child psychology and was the author of two books, The Behavior of Young Children of the Same Family, and Through Children’s Eyes, the lat­ter published by Island Workshop Press.

Robert Haven Schauffler, well known expert on the lives of Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann, also participated in the Island Workshop. Schauffler, author, lecturer, singer, and cellist attended Northwestern University and Princeton University where he earned a B.A. in 1902. A prolific writer, he contributed to numerous magazines and journals, including Collier’s Week­ly, and Atlantic.

Other present­ers and teachers at the Workshop included Daniel Tilden, a Chero­kee Indian Chief, and Anita Wetzler, a nation­ally recognized sculp­tress.

The most color­ful of the Workshop or­ganizers and teachers, however, was Madame Helene Scheu-Riesz (pronounced Shoy-Re­ese). According to islanders who knew her, she was very friendly and outgoing. Mme Scheu-Riesz, as she preferred to be addressed, was born in what is now the Czech Republic in 1880, but spent most of her life in Austria. At age 38 she published her first novel, Der Rev­olutionär. Eine Lebensgeschichte (The Revolutionary, A Biography), which came out during the Bol­shevik Revolution in Russia. How­ever, she made a name for herself as a narrative writer, poet, playwright, editor, journalist, and transla­tor. She was active in the Austrian Women’s Movement, and was es­pecially interested in making books available to children. She edited the “Sesambücher,” a se­ries of classic works, in German, for young peo­ple, and translated Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to German.

Mme. Scheu-Riesz emigrated to the United States in 1937, after her husband, Gustav Scheu, died. True to her old-world traditions, she continued to wear gathered skirts, blouses with laced bodices, and a small scarf or peasant’s cap over her salt and pepper hair. Ear­rings and red shoes highlighted her colorful dress. Mme Scheu- Riesz, short and thin, spoke with a thick German accent.

It is not known how Mme. Scheu-Riesz came to know Vernon Ward, but clearly they were mov­ing in the same circles once she ar­rived in America.

No record survives listing the Island Workshop students. Local sources indicate that only a hand­ful of people were ever enrolled in classes, maybe 8-12 people at any one time. Dare Wright, popular 1950s photographer and author of children’s books, several set on Oc­racoke, seems to have had a con­nection to Vernon Ward, and may have participated in the Workshop. No doubt the extreme isolation of Ocracoke contributed to the small number of students. In 1940 no ferries served the island, and the journey across Pamlico Sound on the 42 foot wooden mail boat Aleta took four hours.

No local islanders are known to have taken advantage of the cours­es offered.

1940 was a time of upheaval in Europe, and the events there were causing anxiety and concern throughout the world, and Oc­racoke Island was no exception.

Before the United States de­clared war on Japan and Germany in 1941(and established a Navy base on the island in June of 1942) Ocracoke had been one of the most isolated communities in the country. Few outsiders visited the island, and most of them were an­glers and hunters.

Most of the Workshop partici­pants enjoyed spending their days on the beach. Islander, Jake Alli­good, had an old flat bed truck that he had converted to an island taxi, and he often drove them across the tidal flats to the ocean. It was not unusual for the teachers and students to walk to the beach after dark.

Several island teenagers, in­trigued by the exotic artists and intellectuals, and looking for ad­venture, decided to snoop around their quarters. They had listened to adults as they discussed the artists’ unconventional behavior and different lifestyles. Connec­tions to foreign countries, strange dress, and a degree of eccentricity had made them suspect. Could the artists really be undercover Nazi spies?

The “detectives” never discov­ered any incriminating evidence.

Mme. Scheu-Riesz’s Jewish heritage points to something quite different from a suspected Ger­man spy. Rather, she appears to have been a committed progres­sive thinker. In Europe she hosted socialist salons, worked with her husband to broaden the view­points of “dreadfully nationalistic” Viennese primers, and was active in the burgeoning “first wave” of the women’s liberation movement. According to information from the Library of Congress, Mme. Scheu- Riesz also had a connection with Sigmund Freud, with whom she carried on correspondence in 1930. And she frequently combined her interest in art with her passion for politics.

The Ocracoke “Artists’ Colony” (the Island Workshop), operated for only two summers (1940 and 1941). The December, 1941attack on Pearl Harbor changed everything. In the next six months hundreds of merchant vessels were torpedoed by German submarines off the Outer Banks. By the summer of 1942 the US Navy had constructed an Amphibious Section Base with as many as 600 personnel stationed on the island. Ocracoke was no longer the quiet, isolated retreat suitable for an artists’ colony.

Six months later, the Spanish Casino, which had already begun to disintegrate, was closed on the recommendation of the Navy com­mander. Shortly afterwards the building was demolished.

According to some sources, Mme Scheu-Riesz operated an art gallery in New York City after WWII. In 1954 she returned to Vi­enna. She devoted the rest of her life to school reform, writing nu­merous adaptations of fairy tales and translating children’s books from English to German. She died in 1970.

Vernon Ward went on to be­come a professor of English at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He published sev­eral books on poetry and in the early 1960s he created and edited Tar River Poets, a literary journal devoted to publishing poems by members of the Poetry Forum in Greenville. It has been listed as one of the top ten poetry journals in the United States. Ward was married and was survived by a daughter and son when he died in 2000.

Philip Howard enjoys research­ing island history which enriches his avocation as a story teller. Philip and his daughter, Amy will be do­ing a program at Deepwater The­ater at 8 PM on Monday evenings called “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet, Strange Stories & Quirky Tales of Ocracoke Island.”

The Fishermen’s Quilt

front cover Quilt 2 ps
The Fishermen’s Quilt, Auction Labor Day Weekend.


August 2010
 By Pat Garber

“There is nothing–ab­solutely nothing– half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats’ That is what Water Rat told Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s classic childhood story, ‘The Wind in the Willows” in the late 1800s. More than a hundred years later, on December 29th, 2009, at the Ocracoke Fish House’s 4th annu­al oyster roast, a quilt containing the words of that famous quo­tation was unveiled. The quilt, a compilation of patches made out of water-related tee-shirts stitched together by Joyce Reyn­olds, is to be raffled off as a fund-raiser for the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association this La­bor Day Weekend.

There is a story behind that quilt, and there are stories in the patches themselves which, stitched together, tell the story of Ocracoke’s fishing community.

The story of the quilt began three years ago, when Joyce Reynolds, the minister at the Ocracoke United Methodist Church, came up with the idea of making a quilt to contribute to the Ocracoke Working Wa­termen’s Association (OWWA.) Joyce specializes in making quilts from tee-shirts, so she wanted to use some of Ocracoke’s fish­ing-related tee shirts. Finding and collecting the shirts became a mission for Joyce–a way that she could contribute to helping the fish house. Since many of the shirts were no longer for sale she had to talk a number of people into giving her the shirt off their backs-literally. She also set about getting as many as possible of the shirts signed by those who were connected to them. She stood at the docks to catch the boat cap­tains and get their signatures, and she flagged down Doran Quigg as he rode by on his bi­cycle, telling him she had to have the tee shirt he was wearing. He delivered it to her at church the following Sunday.

Quilting has long been a part of Ocracoke tradition, and Joyce’s tee-shirt quilt was not the first quilt to be made and raffled to help support OWWA. In 2008 the Ocracoke Needle and Thread Club, comprised of a number of local quilters who work together on such projects, presented the organization with a beautiful sampler quilt of water-related themes. Two years in the mak­ing, the ‘Watermen’s Quilt’ raffle raised $1500.00.

One of the tee-shirt patches in Joyce’s quilt depicts OWWA’s logo, a fishing trawler and the name of the organization, the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association, The story behind the OWWA tee-shirt is one of hope, hard work, and a commu­nity pulling together to save a threatened tradition.

Ocracoke’s fish house, South Point Seafood (another of the tee-shirt patches) opened its doors in 1974, when Johnny Grif­fin began buying seafood from local fishermen on the docks at Silver Lake. Murray Fulcher, a local fisherman and advocate for waterman with the NC leg­islature, bought and ran South Point Seafood for about twenty years before retiring. The fish house changed hands and then was closed for nearly two years, threatening to bring an end to Ocracoke’s long tradition as a fishing village and to the jobs of a number of watermen who lived here. Meanwhile, Ocracoke fisherman Hardy Plyer was ap­pointed to a state committee to locate working waterfronts in North Carolina that were threat­ened by privitization. Ocracoke was among those identified. Oc­racoke fisherman Gene Ballance and Robin Payne, president of the board of the newly formed Ocracoke Foundation, began working together to raise money to re-open the fish house. They received funding from the North Carolina Rural Center, economic development grants through Hyde County, and a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. They met their goal and three years ago Ocracoke Seafood Company opened its doors. The story of the watermen’s associa­tion and the fish house has been one of success since then.

OWWA is managed by Oc­racoke’s fishermen, under the umbrella of the non-profit orga­nization the Ocracoke Foundation. The fish house, which goes by the name “Ocracoke Seafood,” is now self-supporting. Money taken in at fund-raisers contributes to edu­cational outreach programs, such as guidance for teachers to use in their classrooms and research projects. Representatives from the Watermen’s Association par­ticipate in the North Carolina Sea­food Festival in Morehead City, the North Carolina Museum of Histo­ry , and the Core Sound Waterfowl Festival at Harkers Island. They produce promotional materials, including shirts with the OWWA logo, and bumper stickers which read, “Friends don’t let friends eat imported seafood”, thus support­ing local buying. They are pres­ently engaged in preparing a shal­low draft barge to plant oysters in Pamlico Sound.

OWWA officers include David Hilton representing fin fishing, Jerry Lukefahr shellfish, and Ernie Dosier charter boat fishing. Da­vid Hilton is also the president of Ocracoke Seafood. They are pres­ently working with NC Sea Grant to bring more diversity and better marketing, using the brand name “Ocracoke Fresh; Caught Today the Traditional Way.”

Hardy Plyer is the manager of Ocracoke Seafood, and his wife, Patti Johnson Plyer, runs the retail department which sells seafood to the public. One of the tee-shirts in the quilt depicts a fish camp with the words, “Hardy’s Fish Camp and Disco.” It was designed for Hardy and Patti’s wedding party, when the long-time partners de­cided to tie the knot.

Other tee-shirts feature such water-related businesses as Tradewinds Bait and Tackle Shop, The Anchorage Marina, Fat Boy’s Fish Company, and Native Para­sail. Shirts from several of the char­ter-boat captains are represented, including Ronnie O’Neal’s “Miss Kathleen”, Farris O’Neal’s “Drum Stick,” John Ferrara’s “Fish Tale,” and Reid Robinson’s “Devereux.” There is a shirt from Rob Temple’s sailboat “Wind Fall,” from Rodney Mason’s hunting guide service, and from Wade Austin’s duck hunting business, as well as from the Ocracoke Island Crab Festival that used to draw big crowds.

One of the last tee shirts Joyce got was the one with the above mentioned quotation about mess­ing about in boats, which seems to capture the spirit of this fishing community. The people who had originally marketed the shirts sold them at the Gathering Place, a little shop which stood at the entrance to the Community Store docks. The shop itself had been moved to a building in another part of the village, and the current owners, John and Ginny Moss, had stopped selling the shirts. Ben O’Neal still had one however, and when he heard that Joyce was waiting for one to complete her quilt, he left it stuffed in the handle of her door latch. Joyce finished the quilt and presented it to OWWA.

Raffle tickets for the quilt sell for $15.00, and can be bought at the fish house or on line at ocracoke­watermen.org. The winning ticket will be picked at OWWA’s Labor Day Fish Fry.

Artist Photographer, Ann Ehringhaus


August 2010
By Ruth Fordon

the beingness
“The Beingness” words by Thomas Aquinas, Christian mystic, and images Ann Ehringhaus.

Her love of photography began early. As a child, Ann remembers organizing other children in her neighborhood into scenes that she would then photograph with her Brownie camera. In tandem with this interest Ann has always been a student of life and has pursued education in many different formats over the years. She earned a degree in English from UNC at Chapel Hill, and then an MEd in Counseling from UNC in Charlotte. By 1975 her love of photography brought her to school again, this time to a certification program at the New England School of Photography in Boston. All of this training and education has allowed Ann to weave a challenging and interesting lifestyle directed toward the exploration of what it means to be human.

In 1971 Ann moved to Ocracoke to teach at Ocracoke School, her first fulltime job. She was one of five teachers and each taught a variety of subjects. She and her husband Michael taught junior and senior high students from 1971-1973, and then they left to go to graduate school. Her next job was teaching English at an alternative school for 100 kids who had been unable to succeed in regular academic settings. As part of this job, she volunteered to accompany the kids to a media center where they could learn “hands on” about photography, while also

artwork folder002
Ann Ehringhaus

relationships with adults. It was during this work that her child­hood interest in photography sparked again.

In 1975 Ann and her former husband moved to Boston. He later was accepted to Har­vard, and Ann began teaching in Newton, Mass. while tak­ing a few courses at the New England School of Photogra­phy. She soon was enrolled in their fulltime program. This led her back to education and the chance to work full time as a teacher of photography at a junior high school, utilizing her new language, technical skills and creativity to engage the students.

Upon returning to NC in 1978, Ann participated in the NC Artists in the Schools pro­gram sponsored by the NC Arts Council, where she spent 10 years working around the state teaching photography. She also taught for 2 summers at the ad­olescent unit of the state mental hospital in Butner. “Kids would say things when we were in the darkroom developing photos that they wouldn’t say other­wise. It was really amazing and fun.”

After finishing her Photog­raphy program in Boston, Ann began thinking about the need for a book about Ocracoke that would portray more than just the history.She wanted to say something with her new lan­guage of photography about the island, the power of the environment, and the com­munity. At the time only Carl Goerch’s book on the history of Ocracoke was available. For Ann, it was the opportunity to use her technical skills as a photographer, her instincts for distilling the everyday life of islanders into stunning images and a format for her to con­vey her love and appreciation of Ocracoke. She had saved enough money to work on the book exclusively for 5 months and made a majority of the im­ages during this time period. Compiling quotes, stories and finding a way to make them in­tersect meaningfully with the images took several more years and 2 years to connect with the right publisher.

Ann’s completed book,”Ocracoke Portrait”, her photo essay capturing images and stories of island life, pub­lished in 1988, was enthusiasti­cally received and enjoyed by all. Ocracoke Portrait is now in its second printing and avail­able in stores around the is­land. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to look for it. The stories and images are timeless.

One day in the early 1990’s while buying fish at the fish house Ann met Gretchen Sig­mund, an artist from Colum­bus, Indiana. Gretchen and her daughter commented on “Oc­racoke Portrait” which led to a friendship and more sharing of art. After a couple of years of building their friendship they began to collaborate artistically, each style complementing the other in a collage format using Polaroid transfer photo images and hand-coloring. They pro­duced, a poster simply named “Ocracoke”. It is found in many Ocracoke homes, rental cot­tages and is for sale in several shops in the village. Next came the collage poster, “Signs of Life”. Ann then traveled to Co­lumbus, Indiana and together they created a poster of Colum­bus, Indiana, using the same Polaroid transfer technique.

Ann, as a classically trained photographer was working with more traditional bound­aries around what she could or couldn’t do with images. Gretchen’s painting style was very loose and leaned more to­ward “anything is possible”, an influence that Ann found to be really helpful. As Ann puts it, “My work became messy, and I liked it.” They continue to ex­plore different ways of relating imagery around the theme of Nature and completed a new Ocracoke poster last winter. They try to work together every couple of years if not more fre­quently.

In 1996 Ann traveled to the concentration camps in Aus­chwitz, Poland, to participate in a weeklong meditation retreat.. Her experience there launched her into a spiritual exploration of the long term effects of war. As she began processing this experience she embarked on a course of study that led to a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Oakland, California. Ann transformed her war experi­ence into an artistic statement, again using Polaroid transfer images and words. Old WWII photos combined with new images from her own travels in Germany were used in this series. She has shown this ex­hibit at the NCCAT campus in Cullowhee, NC, the Hor­ace Williams House in Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and at several out of state presenter at the NC Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Over the last 2 1⁄2 years, Ann has been collaborating with another photographer and a writer from Charlotte, NC to produce a Daily Medita­tion Guide, entitled “Connect”. This is a workbook for personal reflection and creative explo­ration, divided into four parts, one for each season. They plan to launch it in Charlotte this fall.

Ann’s work as a photogra­pher has insisted that she be present to life and in the mo­ment. For her, photography is “about seeing, about being as present as I can be to whatever I am encountering. Photogra­phy helps to open awareness. Practicing photography for 30 years has shaped who I am as a person.”

I would add that in Ann’s work I find that there are al­ways several layers of meaning that weave between and among the images she creates with her photos. The spiritual is always present along with humor and a grounded sense of day to day life.

For the photographer just starting out, Ann’s advice is “to take a lot of workshops, follow your interest and see where it wants to take you. Don’t try to figure it out ahead of time.”

Ann’s photographic artwork has been exhibited around the Southeast in galleries, muse­ums, and colleges, both as a solo artist and in group exhibi­tions. On the island her work can be seen downstairs at the Café Atlantic and at Island Artworks on British Cemetery Road. Her web site is www. annehringhaus.com and she will offer “Island Photogra­phy” the last week in October at the Ocrafolk School . She has owned and operated Oscar’s House Bed and Breakfast since 1984 on Ocracoke.

ABC Store on Ocracoke Island Runs A’Ground


August 2010
By Ruth Fordon

abc shelves

“How can a liquor store go broke?” wondered is­land residents. Deliveries to both the Swan Quarter and Ocracoke ABC stores were stopped early in the year as unpaid invoices of more than $100,000 to distillers accumu­lated. By June the shelves at the Ocracoke ABC store were nearly empty, restaurants ac­customed to purchasing at the ABC store for their drink trade were making elaborate arrangements to purchase through Dare County and is­land gossip was in overdrive.

The State Alcohol Law En­forcement Division has been investigating, to rule out theft and embezzlement, and to find out what went wrong. As reported by Catherine Kozak in the Island Free Press, Jay Etheridge, Chairman of the Hyde County ABC store has labeled “mismanagement” of records, inventory and staff as the bottom line. According to Etheridge, no money was missing but other problems that have been accumulating over years have led to the cur­rent situation. For a complete description of the investiga­tion and steps taken, readers can go to http://www.islandfree­press.org and see the Local News section for Ms. Kozak’s initial report and her follow­up story on June 23rd.

By the middle of June the ABC Board had a reasonable plan in place and has com­mitted to managing the stores properly. The state will also be monitoring the operation weekly.

Ann Warner, owner of the popular Howard’s Pub checks in on the progress so far and her concerns. “Howard’s Pub became aware of the signifi­cant problems in­volving the Hyde County ABC store’s inability to purchase liquor in March. Fortu­nately, the North Carolina ABC Commission, un­der the direction of Mike Herring, Chief Adminis­trator, was very proactive in working with us to secure inventory from Dare County. Dare County was equally supportive and efficient in working with The Pub with the ordering pro­cedure and providing the inventory. The downside of purchasing from Dare Coun­ty was the commitment to travel to Buxton to retrieve the product, resulting in an average roundtrip of four hours. Hyde County ABC has begun receiving ship­ments again, albeit limited in quantity. Additionally, there are still some kinks to work through in terms of process­ing the orders. Time will tell if Hyde County ABC is able to service its regular customers as well as the permittees on Ocracoke. How­ard’s Pub will continue to mon­itor the situation closely to ensure we have liquor for our visitor’s enjoyment.”

“If there is one commonality amongst island residents it would be our ability to withstand and adapt to hard­ship,” comments Daphne Ben­nink, owner of The Back Porch Restaurant. “Having to pur­chase our product and now supplement our liquor inven­tory through Dare County ABC has its downside, most particularly the travel time but dealing with a profes­sional, well organized entity has been a treat. I am doing my best to work with and as­sist Hyde ABC in its rebuilding process. To be dealing with this during the peak of our summer season is difficult. I hope that their business projections are correct and that they succeed in growing to where they can service the needs of the visitors, residents and mixed beverage holders of Ocracoke alike.”

final hydration
This entry in the Ocracoke 4th of July parade pokes fun at Hyde County and says it all!

For now, there is a limited stock of most brands of popu­lar liquor and a wait and see attitude. Many concerns and questions still remain to be answered. Until then, Oc­racoke will do what it does best, improvise and carry on.

This entry in the Ocracoke 4th of July parade pokes fun

Hands Across the Sand



hands line

 August 2010
By Lou Ann Homan

I first heard about Hands Across the Sand as snow was still falling in the Midwest. I could only imag­ine how it would be on Oc­racoke, joining hands with folks and stretching out the entire length of the island in the month of June.

I must confess that my aged jeep is a billboard for this type of movement. One year I drove it to Ocracoke, but Philip made me back it in his driveway since tourists were looking at my car and not at his wonderfully restored old house. Even so, I proudly dis­play all the images and truths that I believe in on the back of that old Jeep. And, Indiana is not always known to be pro­gressive…with marches and rallies or other remnants of the hippie movement.

I knew someone would take over, and it was, of course, Kitty Mitchell, who organized, planned and ad­vertised the Hands Across the Sand for Ocracoke. I first saw her post on Facebook (OK, now you know what I do in my spare time) with the date, and I hoped I would get here for the event. There is no reason to go into the details of my situation, but a visit to my mom was imperative be­fore I came for the summer. The surprise for me, and my mom, was that she would be coming with me to spend a week.

Now my mom has never sponsored an event like this or even attended one. I was careful how I approached this with her. I think we were having a glass of wine when I told her of all the activities that would be taking place on Ocracoke when we ar­rived. There was, of course, Uncle Buddy’s wedding, and the Opry, and, slipping in the words between sips of white wine, we would be participat­ing in Hands Across the Sand. We had been watching the oil spill each morning, and I wove it all together. She nod­ded in agreement.

My mom’s trip to Ocracoke with me was exactly how it should be and all the events took place, as I knew they would.

Saturday, June 26th arrived hot and beautiful, and I was so anxious for the gathering. I had been reading all that I could on-line to know more. I love this quote from Hands Across the Sand website, “…not about politics, it is about protection of our coastal eco­nomics, oceans, marine wild­life, and fishing industry.”

As per Kitty’s announce­ments and flyers, we arrived promptly at 11:00 a.m. on the beach. Kitty was busy setting up the table, talking to stray beach walkers as they came over out of curiosity. I, the dreamer that I am, expected hundreds and hundreds of folks to stretch out along the full length of the seashore, but then again we were early.

There were seashells to sign with markers to be sent to Governor Beverly Perdue, all with the same message, “No to offshore drilling and yes to clean energy,” but with clever notes.

Seashell messages

I watched my mom sprint around making friends and signing her seashell. Could I have underestimated this woman? Maybe we don’t know each other as well as we should. I took her photograph signing the seashell…min­gling with folks.

More folks came and the crowd was growing with lo­cals and tourists alike talking, laughing, sharing sunscreen and everyone was happy to be there taking part in this ground roots event that could be instrumental in making our world cleaner and safer. When the sign arrived say­ing Ocracoke Island we all cheered and stories were passed among us like waves on the beach. It had been used in the 70’s here on Ocracoke, in Raleigh, in Washington and I am sure other locations. It looked great even after be­ing in storage for 40 years!

At ten minutes till twelve we headed down to the surf to begin forming our long line. The sign was placed in the middle as we stretched out upon the beach facing the sea with our feet covered in sand. There were children building a sand castle in front of us oblivious to our mission, to the oil spill, to their future.

I reached for my mom’s hand on my right and a new friend, Sally, on my left. My mom’s hand felt strong and energetic as she stood fac­ing the sea in silence. Fif­teen minutes we held hands thinking our own thoughts. I looked up and down the line at the folks holding hands. We weren’t protesting or causing harm, we were drawing our own line in the sand to bring awareness to our shoreline, all shorelines. I thought of all the people on other beaches forming their lines as well.

The only sound I heard was the sound of waves upon land until Sally began to sing. It was soft at first, and then her voice grew stronger. My mom looked at me and nodded sweetly. I squeezed her hand and we both joined in with Sally:

Oh beautiful for working folk
Who forge the wealth we see
In farm and field and home and school
Unsung in history,
Oh beautiful
Oh beautiful
May race nor creed nor more divide
ut side by side
All stand united and free.
– Unknown author

Lou Ann is a staff writer for the Ocracoke Observer and spends her summers on Ocracoke Island where she collects stories and tales.

First aid for fishing injuries


August 2010
By Ken DeBarth

We all expect every­thing to work out well. We expect to catch fish, have a good time, and return home safely. But sometimes things just don’t work out that way and some­thing bad happens.

Fishing is a pretty safe sport. Statistics tell us that the most dangerous thing we do on any fishing trip is driving the car to where we are going to fish. Once we are on the beach or in the boat, however, there are a number of things that can go wrong. Fortunately most of these are not life threatening, but even a little emergency can ruin a good day if you are not prepared or do not know what to do.

Common sense will prevent many fishing injuries. But bad things can and do still happen. Here are some ideas for ways to prevent and treat minor injuries you may encounter on your fishing trip.

Cuts: All sorts of things can cut you. Most common is your bait knife, but anything with a sharp edge can do the job in­cluding shells and foreign ob­jects in the water or the sand.

First aid for cuts includes cleaning the wound and con­trolling bleeding. Bleeding will wash some foreign material from the wound, but washing with hand soap and clean wa­ter is best. Most minor bleed­ing can be controlled by direct pressure. Put a clean cloth or a paper towel (or gauze if you have it) over the wound and push on it firmly. Hold pres­sure for several minutes. If you remove the dressing and pres­sure, a partly formed clot can be washed away and the bleed­ing will not be controlled.

Any cut that gaps open so that you can look down into it or spurts blood should be evaluated by trained medi­cal personnel. Stitches may be required for proper heal­ing. Wounds that need stitches should be sewed within eight to 12 hours. After that, the chance of infection and poor healing in­creases significantly.

Puncture wounds are a spe­cial type of cut—with a small amount of surface injury and a penetrating wound edge. Fish­hooks, fish fins and stab-type wounds all have the possibil­ity of carrying dirt and germs deep into tissue. Encourage puncture wounds to bleed. The blood will help wash for­eign material out of the wound. Soap and water washing is vi­tal, and soaking the wound in warm water will also help to clean it.

Stings and bites
Marine animals can cause painful inju­ries. The two most common in our area are sting rays and jelly fish. Sting rays have a barb at the base of their tail with a power­ful venom. Sting ray injuries are usually on an extremity and are due to stepping on or han­dling the sting ray. The pain of a sting ray envenomization is severe, and I have seen tough guys cry like a baby.

Treatment is simple. Soak the wound in hot water. Sting ray venom is de-activated by heat. Water temperature should be in the range of a hot bath. You can get a hot enough temperature from any hot wa­ter faucet. It is easy to find the right temperature—the pain will STOP! As the water cools, the pain will begin to return. You can add more hot water or use a two bucket technique by rotating a new bucket of hot water as the first bucket cools. It maybe necessary to continue the hot water soaks for 2 to 3 hours until all the venom is gone. At this point, the water will cool and the pain will not return.

Occasionally the barb will stay in the wound and this may require medical attention for removal. A medical professional can advise you on the need for antibiotics and teta­nus immunization.

Jelly fish have venom-con­taining tentacles that rupture on contact and can be very pain­ful. The venom is contained in small “cysts” and these must be removed. Jelly fish stings can occur on any part of the body.

Treatment involves remov­ing the tentacles and venom by scrubbing the affected area with sand and salt water. Fresh water will worsen the pain as it causes more cysts to rupture. Do not use fresh water! You can scrape the area with a credit card or similar thin hard-edged object to help remove the re­maining cysts and tentacles.

Jelly fish venom is destroyed by acidic solutions like vinegar and protein digesting sub­stances like meat tenderizer. If you have both available (and you may want to include some of each in your first aid kit), make a paste of meat tender­izer and white vinegar and rub it onto the painful area. Usu­ally one or two applications of this paste is enough to stop all the pain.

Tetanus immunization and antibiotics are not required for jelly fish stings.

Flying things like bees, green head flies and mosquitoes can bite or sting fisherman. Insect repellent and full coverage clothing will help prevent these troublesome injuries. The pain and swelling from bee stings can be limited by ap­plication of an ice cube to the sting area. This will limit the spread of the venom. Swelling and itch can be treated with over-the-counter Benadryl by mouth and local surface ap­plication of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

Yellow jacket stings some­time require an update of tet­anus immunization but rarely require antibiotics. Any difficulty with breath­ing, light-headedness, or ex­tensive swelling after a bee sting should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Green head flies and mos­quito bites will cause swelling and itching. This can be miser­able but is rarely dangerous. Treatment is oral Benadryl and topical hydrocortisone. FOREIGN OBJECTS can be­come embedded in the body in a number of ways. The barb from a sting ray, a fishhook, a fish fin/spine can require at­tention.

Usually any foreign body that is embedded should be evaluated by a medical profes­sional. There are a number of first aid strategies for fishhook re­moval, but I have never had a lot of success with any of these. I remove fishhooks often in my work in the emergency room and urgent care centers. It isn’t hard if you have an injection of a local anesthetic. On the beach or in the boat it is harder. First aid is to remove the lure from the hook and stabilize the hook. Any movement of the hook will cause pain.

Foreign bodies in the eye sometimes occur. The most important first aid for “some­thing in the eye” is to NOT rub the eye! This is vital and very hard to do. The tendency is to rub the eye, but this often will cause more damage. Blinking and tearing will help wash the foreign object out of the eye. Wash the eye by irrigating with lots of water.
Always remove contact lens­es from an eye with a foreign object injury. Seek medical at­tention if the pain and irritation continues.

First-aid kit
There are any number of pre-assembled first aid kits on the market. You can buy one of these or you can put together your own. If you choose to make your own first aid kit con­sider including the following:

A supply of gauze pads—sterile 4×4’s are available at most drug stores
Small hand towels—for dressings and cleaning wounds
Several sizes of Band Aids—emphasize the larger sizes
One or two Ace Wraps—these are useful in holding dressings and bandages in place
Benadryl capsules or tab­lets—available in 25mg strength over the counter
Small bottle of white vinegar Small jar of Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer
Sling or triangular ban­dage—available at most drug stores
Bottle of Hydrogen Perox­ide—for washing wounds
Small bar of hand soap

Fishing is a safe sport, but, like in any other activity, ac­cidents can happen. Knowl­edge is always the best weap­on when dealing with the unexpected. I hope you will never need to remember any of the above information, but if an accident should happen, I hope some of this advice will help you to deal with the problem.

Ken DeBarth is a fisherman and a physician assistant. He has treated all of the above in his work and experienced most of the above while fishing. Be safe and have fun!

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