Another Story from Rev. William Crow

Rev. Crow served the Ocracoke Methodist Church in 1936-1938. Below is one of his stories:

I had a lot of company when I lived on Ocracoke…. My friend Leo Provinsky, who was Catholic, came down once. He was in the Duke School of Medicine, and I was in the Divinity School….

When Sunday came around, I said, “Leo, you get on out of here. If you go to hear me preach, you are going to have to confess your sins to the priest.”

So Leo…went down to the lake side and somebody let him have a row boat. It had one-half of an oar in it and no anchor. So Leo knew how to paddle a boat and the tide was going out and the wind was going with the tide, and every time he put that paddle in the water he would go ten feet or more. It was so easy that he didn’t know that paddling a boat could be that easy. He got out in the Pamlico Sound and it got sorta far away from land out there, and I think he was a little bit concerned. But a man in his fishing boat came close by to see if there was anything wrong and said, “Do you need any help?’

And Leo was so embarrassed he just lay down in the back of the boat with his hands back of his head and said, “No thank you.” Now that was a mistake. So the friendly fisherman went on his way. Leo was soon to be in trouble….because his row boat was just about to go out Ocracoke Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean. But he had enough presence of mind to take that half an oar and use it as a rudder and guided that boat into the point [the South Point]….

In any case, Leo was about two hours late coming back, and he was coming in the wrong direction. I was getting ready to send the Coast Guard to go look for him, and here he comes in from the wrong direction. I said, “Leo, where in the world have you been?” And then he told me the story of his experience in a row boat with half an oar and no anchor. Leo stayed with me a little while and then got the mailboat and went on back to Durham to finish his medical school education.