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Edgartown, Massachusetts
September 14, 2012     Vineyard Gazette
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September 14, 2012

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TWELVE VINEYARD GAZETI'E, MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASS. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 VINEYARD OAZETTE Martha' s  Established Vineyard's in 1846 Newspaper A Journal for 166 Years of Island Life Jane Seagrave, Publisher Julia Wells, Editor Stephen Durkee, Director of Graphics and Design Phyllis Meras, Contributing Editor Richard Reston and Mary Jo Reston Publishers 1988-2010 Sally Fulton Reston and James Reston Publishers 1968-1988 Elizabeth Bowie Hough and Henry Beetle Hough Publishers 1920-1965 Quiet Mission, Public Lands The low-key green and white signposts that mark properties owned by the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank so often belie the gran- deur of what lies at the end of a short trail. Think Aquinnah Head- lands, Poucha Pond, Waskosim's Rock, to name just a few. So the property purchase announced by the land bank last week sounded, well, underwhelming: just under twelve acres of nondescript wooded land off the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. Bought for nine hundred thousmd dollars from the Norton family, the acquisition in fact completes a thoughtful three-part plan initiated more than a decade ago to create a small archipelago of conservation land at the western edge of Edgartown. In January 2000 the land bank bought a six-lot subdivision, a little more than eleven acres, adjacent to the fields at Morning Glory Farm. A house that stood on the land was taken down, and today that property is Sweetened Water Preserve, a small area of grassy walking paths that rim a small pond and the farm fields. The next year the land bank bought the development rights to the Morning Glory farmland along the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. That purchase of an agricultural preservation restriction on over twenty-six acres meant that the rotating fields of corn, sunflowers, kale and broccoli would remain as farmland forever. And last week, the final puzzle piece was secured. The sum of these parts is significant; what the publicly-funded land trust has achieved with three seemingly disparate purchases is nearly com- plete protection of the bucolic entrance to our county seat, beginning with wooded land, melting into open farm fields and finally passing a walking trail and nature sanctuary. Land bank monies are of course tied to the activity of the Vine- yard real estate market, and the decline in real estate sales since the start of'the recessi0ii tis translated to a paucity of new properties, as land bank leaders carefully husband their resources. But its recent purchase offers a window into how the land bank can and does pursue its mission even in an era of straitened budgets, by gathering small parcels of land over a period of time to build a small sanctuary in the woods or near the shore, connect trails that were previously unconnected -- or, as in it did last week, protect a pastoral entryway to one of the Island towns. Our appreciation for the quiet woodlands and open farm fields every time we drive into Edgartown from the west has grown a little deeper. Flowers on Cobblestones This is a week to remember. On Tuesday a subdued ceremony was held in Lower Manhattan and around the country to remember the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on another sunny September morning eleven years ago that left such deep scars on the American psyche. Tomorrow another quiet ceremony will be held at the Edgartown Lighthouse to remember a different loss, no less profound. It is the eleventh annual Children's Memorial Ceremony of Remembrance hosted by the Martha's Vineyard Museum which built the memorial in honor of children who have died. The idea for the memorial first came from Rick Harrington, a well-known former Vineyard resident and businessman whose son's life was cut short by an automobile accident during his high school years more than a decade ago. Today granite cobblestones line the base of the Edgartown Light- house, each one engraved with the name of a child who has died. The cobblestones are laid parallel to the shoreline and marked by compass points. The working lighthouse shines its beacon high above the stones, symbolically illuminating the darkness for the children. Believed to be the only one of its kind, the memorial has been em- braced by people from around the world, and indeed the memorial is for all children. New stones are laid each year, purchased by friends or family members as a donation to the museum. The ceremony tomorrow is at one o'clock and will include music, readings and remarks. The rain date is Saturday, September twenty- second. All are welcome. If you cannot attend on Saturday afternoon, no matter. Walk to the lighthouse on any day and read the names and feel the smooth gray granite stones beneath your feet. And as you stand in the shadow of the lighthouse, a beacon of safety and hope, take a moment to remember all the children who have died. i' Roy lraholf Triathlon Baptism Elizabeth Cecil i i LETTERS TO THE EDITOR WHAT'S IN A NAME? Editors, Vineyard Gazette: The Republican nominee for POTUS, Mr. Romney, has been introducing him- self to voters by his middle name, but will that be the name on his line in the ballot next November? Not if he has to fill out a printed three-by-five card like those we use for everything else, with space for a first name in full and a box for a middle initial. No matter what family and friends may call us, in any officially printed context, the three-by- five formula prevails. Why try to fight it, to be in the mid- dle-namer minority? Ask the fictional J. Alfred Prufrock or J. Cheever Loophole, or their creators. Or E Scott Fitzgerald. In Washington, was the J. Edgar Hoover for whom the FBI building was named more a threat to crime than the John E. Hoover probably listed in a file in its basement? "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but a candidate wants the name that will sound sweetest to voters. To Americans, Willard has a slightly more familiar ring than the foreign-sounding Barack, but in middle names a fingerless glove far outranks a Muslim saint. On name sounds, Mr. Romney appears to have the advantage, but it will be lost unless voters read their ballots aloud. WR. Deeble West Tisbury DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE Editors, Vineyard Gazette: Glenn M. Zafonte of West Orange, N.J., writes angrily of a frustratingly inconvenient experience he had re- cently in getting ferry space leaving the Vineyard (Vacation Ruined, Sept. 7). His anger is directed at the SSA, which he believes, "does not seem to care.., has no heart... [,and] makes little effort to be friefldl, Of cordial2 I could not disagree more strongly, and our experience with the SSA could not be more different than what Mr. Zafonte describes. We have lived on the Island year- round for 10 years and have been com- ing to the Vineyard for more than 45 years. During that time we have made hundreds of trips on the ferries. With- out a single exception, we have never experienced problems like those about which Mr. Zafonte complains. On the contrary, we have always found SSA service to be responsive to the needs of its passengers and we have always enjoyed efficient and courteous treat- ment from SSA employees, at all three terminals and on the telephone. Again and again, over the years, we have remarked how flexible and accommo- dating the SSA has been when we've changed reservations at the last minute or showed up late for a boat.., even on busy summer weekends. Mr. Zafonte, too, has been"coming to the Vineyard for 25 years." Is this unfor- tunate experience of which he writes typical of the service he's received for all of those years? I suspect not, and I hope sincerely that he and his family will attempt to put this unpleasant- ness behind them, and look forward to enjoying future vacations on Martha's Vineyard. Leslie J. Stark Vineyard Haven HELPING TIM FULLIN Editors, Vineyard Gazette: We are writing this letter with a heavy heart. Recently native Tim Ful- lin was diagnosed with cancer. Tim is going through chemotherapy treatment; he is the husband of Linda and the fa- ther of three children who are all locals as well -- Veronica, T.R and Keith. Tim is a grandfather, uncle, brother, son and an amazing friend. We have all known the Fullin family most of our lives. Most of us went to school with their kids and had Tim service our burners. They are one of the first to help out when you're in need of anything, night or day. Thanks to the help of Island people and businesses, we will be able to hold a benefit auction at the EA. Club on Nov. 3. Dinner will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m.; a live auction will begin at 7. We are looking for any donations, monetary or auction items. I know times are tough, but anything will help, big or small; this letter can be used for your charitable donations for taxes. Money raised will go toward Tim and Linda's cost of travel, medication, co- pays or maybe even a house payment. We thank you in advance for your time and consideration to help one of our own who has helped so many. We look forward to working with you and talking to you soon. To send a donation, volunteer or for more information, please e-mail, or flyingwa- Olivia Law-Butler Caroline Derrig Oak Bluffs To Page Thirteen Let Us Now Praise Infamous Gr00't00es ND "IT-IE CRY RINGS OUT, "A.P. DID IT!" I THINK he'd be tickled. Its an honor bestowed on each and every one of us on our way down to the cemetery. A.P. built most of the houses on the island. For 40 years he was the town builder, mason, plumber, architect, electrician and build- ing inspector. Since his death he has become solely responsible for every single piece of bad building ever perpetrated on this rock. He has singlehandedly absolved every one of us of our sins. He is a saint, the patron saint of scapegoats. We can now walk with our heads held high once again, knowing that if one of Tales from our little gems is discovered we can always attribute it to the time we hired A.E to help G0sn01d for a day or two. It goes something like this: "Hi, Bud. What's up?" "Well, you know that deck you built for me a few years ago?" "Sure do. What about it?" "I've noticed a little rot where it attaches to the house. I don't think it was flashed very well." "Oh, I see," I reply, eyes downcast and in obvious pain. "You know, Bud, I hired A.P. to flash that deck. Boy, we sure miss him around here. Don't you, Bud?" "Yeah, the place just isn't the same without A.P." Wishing he'd never opened his mouth. "What were you saying about your deck, Bud?" "Oh nothing, you have a good day." This place in history does not come without some just cause. I can vividly recall his upper gums headed north while his false teeth headed south, a visible symptom of a severe stutter that overcame him when- ever confronted with one of his many blunders. While A.E was shrinking with age, his false teeth were not. It was hard to keep your mind on the conversation while that cartoon was playing out. Making matters worse, before A.P. had all his teeth yanked out because he was sick of taking care of them, one of his front teeth was broken in half. On the first day back to the island with his new choppers, A.P. fell, his teeth popped out and that very same front tooth broke in half. And so it stayed. Anytime I got into an argument with him, that tooth caught my eye and robbed my thunder. AP. was also a selectman for 30 years. He was old school; whatever the issue, there had to be two sides and he didn't care which side he was on as long as it By WILL MONAST was the other side. I once bumped into A.P. twice in one day and argued the same issue with two different people. The first time I could hear him yelling and stomping and stuttering and stooping to grab that first syllable by the tail before it got away, arguing that the town had to get with the times and start thinking about future generations It was time for us to start thinking about recycling, "by the Jesus." Three hours later he had to be dragged away from a near fist fight with some vacationing environmentalist who asked him why the island didn't have a recycling program. "This island is too damned small to worry about bringing its beer cans back as tin foil, besides, if we had fewer Grebes hanging around here we'd have a lot less trash to worry about," A.P. said. Grebes are sea birds. They are fat, slow and not very smart, and have no known purpose on this earth (to us anyway). Grebe is also the name given to anyone who does not live and work on the island 365 days a year, or have a Written excuse for missing a few days. A.E Dunham would compromise the reputation of his mother to insure his place on the other side of any argument that any Grebe was willing to wage. A.P. was quite a piece of work, no doubt, but there were things he knew that made him special. He knew the people of this island are different, that they have to be allowed their own way of doing things and at their own speed. He employed anyone who needed work; most of the time it was the only work to be had and he never asked more than people could give. If Bung Ward refused to show up before 10 a.m., after Wheel of Fortune, 12 cups of coffee and a pack of Camels, that's just the way it was. If WaUy Meechum needed six weeks to wire a house that might take a normal electrician one, well, that's just how long it took. Somewhere along the line he decided that these houses were not simply his to build, but the island's. The isolation of the island gives a man the opportu- nity come up with some pretty wrong information. To establish yourself as a credible expert, you must then be ready to defend that information to the death. I remember the winter that Bung, after watching an epi- sode of This Old House, decided he was an electrician and would take over for Wally when he and Lu went to Florida for a week or two. (Warm, free trailer. Why not? They drove nonstop with 16 sandwiches and a gallon of coffee which probably got them to Connecticut. Twenty three and one half hours on the mad. They hated Florida, too many old people which were referred to as "them." Lu and Wally were in their mid-70s). Anyway Bung started wiring the new house that A.P. was building, and after a couple of days A.P. realized that Bung did not know what the hell he was doing. Of course a fight broke out and it was a pretty clean fight, no mention of mothers or IQ levels, stuff like that. A.P was screaming about completed circuits and balanced loads while Bung was screaming about something from outer space -- lots of coffee and a short fuse. When it seemed like it was slowing down a bit, I would interject an "I don't think that's right A.P," or "Are you sure about that Bung?" Just to keep it going -- a fine art around here. Suddenly A.P. looked out the window and said, "Look at that tide! Let's go clamming." So we did. The electrical argument was never mentioned again, but every night for a month after that a light burned late on the job. There was A.P., hunched over this outlet or that. It was part of his job and firing Bung was not an option. A.P. knew how to balance the needs of fanatically independent individuals in an extremely dependent society. He knew that contrariness, dissen- sion and argumentativeness are basic, if sometimes crude ways that people have of maintaining their identities. First-time visitors to the island are often struck by the simple beauty of an old New England fishing village and the apparent simplicity of a society with 25 people. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of society's problems are here, condensed. As in a family, we cannot choose those with whom we have to deal every day. Everyone on this island becomes a large part of our lives, and therefore is in a position to know more about us than we might care to have known. As a result, we build images that are intended to insulate, and to some degree, isolate. Sometimes we even act like the modem version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Sometimes it's a three-ring circus, other times it's a cartoon. There are some who thought Adelphus Peckham was not a very bright man, and I admit that the sight of him stuttering up a storm in heated argument did not help, but A.P. knew something that no amount of education or money could provide. He knew that people, above all else, have to be respected. Will Monast and his wife Leslei live in West Tisbury. They washed ashore after spending 25 years on Cut- tyhunk raising four children, but that's another story. TH E GAZET1"E CHRONICLE Of Primaries and Plays From the Vineyard Gazette editions of September 1942: The primaries for the nomination of candidates whose names will be on the ballot at the state election in November will be held on Tuesday, September 15. Not for many years have the primaries held so much interest to Vineyarders, with two contests for county offices in which the Republican nomination is usually the equivalent of election. For the first time in the history of Martha's Vineyard, or of the motion picture industry, the Island is to be the scene of a World Premiere tomorrow night, with the first public showing of The Moon and Sixpence, made from W. Somerset Maugham's famous novel, at the Edgartown Playhouse. The event will bring together a neighborly gather- ing of the Island's own celebrities along with the off-Island press. The Island's first World Premiere will not follow tradition in all respects. There will be no bright lights, partly because of the dim-out but partly because the theatre does not boast an electric sign. The latest major rumor about Mar- tha's Vineyard, extraordinarily persis- tent, is to the effect that the entire Island is to be taken over by the Army, the Navy, or anyway by the government. All the plans of every sort, which have been undertaken here, or are now be- ing discussed, are fully accounted for without any shred of substantiation for this latest and greatest of wartime whoppers. Four times around Martha's Vineyard on a wheel in a single day is the bicy- cling record established on Tuesday, Sept. 1, by Rev. Harry Butman and it is a record likely to stand for a long time. Mr. Butman started out on Tuesday at 4:45 a.m., and at the conclusion of his first trip, ate breakfast. During the morning he made his second circuit followed by lunch and another trip in the afternoon. The fourth was an evening trip after supper. Negotiations are underway which will remove an ancient landmark from its original site in Eastville, Oak Bluffs, and transfer it to Edgartown, in the vicinity of Eel Pond. This is the Oliver Linton House. Records show that the Linton house, long referred to as the Claghorn Tavern, is one of the oldest on the Island. The locality in which it stands was a principal landing place in those days, with a wharf at the end of Old County Road, and certain places in which Capt. James Lawrence, hero of the loss of the frigate Chesapeake, was said to have slept before sailing forth to his death. Tales of romance and mystery have always been told of this portion of Eastville, know to older people as the Barbary Coast, and the old house has figured in many of these. It should be Fair time along about now. The old handbills used to read, "Ho for the Martha's Vineyard Cattle Show," but it is not Ho for anything this Sep- tember, because of the great war. The Fair was something you could count on, but this year the war, with its difficulties and impossibilities of transportation, has intervened. One of the most important sales of real estate in recent years is the transfer of the western portion of Mohu, the tremendous estate owned by Mrs. Wil- liam M. Butler, widow of Senator Butler, to Albridge C. Smith 3rd of Princeton, N.J. Mohu is one of the largest and most beautiful of the estates on Mar- tha's Vineyard, surpassed in size and shore front only by Seven Gates Farm. Until recently, it included several small houses, besides the big house occupied by Mrs. Butler. The Butlers moved to Mohu more than twenty years ago, hav- ing first made the beautiful Edgartown house built by the late Dr. Daniel Fisher, their summer home. There is a critical shortage of scrap iron which now threatens to hold back the war industries. Walkers and cyclists who can locate discarded cars and old stoves, boat engines or abandoned farm tools or machines will help a great deal if they will report their finds to the local salvage officers. It is said that old stoves make excellent scrap iron. Automo- biles and boat engines are prizes. They should be reported so that trucks may go after them. The Vineyard will soon be bragging about its only admiral, for Edward Han- son Smith, a captain in the Coast Guard, has been nominated by President Roo- sevelt to be a rear admiral. The son of Capt. and Mrs. Edward Jones Smith of Vineyard Haven, he was born" in that town Oct. 29, 1889, the descendant of seafaring stock on both ancestral sides. Compiled by Alison Mead