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

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 VINEYARD GAZETTE, MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASS. THIRTEEN ,VINEYARD GAZETTE COMMENTARY OPINION & ANALYSIS I f , I" LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Ray Ewing J Readers Bid Adieux to Le Grenier What follows are edited comments from the Gazette website reacting to the Gazette story last week about Le Grenier going on the market. You will be missed, Jean. My wife Pat and I will forever remember nights at your delicious table.., especially a night several years ago when we had the absolute pleasure of sitting next to a party which included the lead vio- linist of the Paris Symphony who treated your guests to a most delightful private concert. Mason Buddy Marblehead and Vineyard Haven When I was the innkeeper of the Captain Dexter house next door, we would melt from the aromas from the kitchen. Once I gave Chefa fish I had caught, he cooked it up for him and his mother and gave me back my lure from its belly. The best to you, Chef! Lori Dalrymple San Diego, Calif. You have always been a highlight of our summers -- yours was the first restaurant my parents brought me to on the Vineyard years ago. I'll miss dancing upstairs over the winter! Sarah Girotti Vineyard Haven and Boston One point six million is a bargain fbr the property not to mention includ- ing the two businesses. Hope someone continues the legacy. Lisa Madison Edgartown Mr. Dupon should sell Le Grenier to his'children or grandchildren. That would ensure the consistency;that he and his customers value. ..;:: ..... : :..,,  i :,, ,,m,-,, ' . Christine Powers Waltham ....... ' . ........ Jean, there is no other proprietor with such grace and charm as you. Of course the food is superb! Enjoy your new life. You worked hard for it. No one can take your place. Toujours l'amour. Carolyn Murphy Cumberland, R.I. Oh no! Where will we go for our anniversary dinner now? This has been a real tradition. We'll have to convince Jean to cook for us every July 6 from now on. We'll also have to retrieve our roses and champagne corks from the 26- plus years that we've been celebrating our marriage there. Many, many, many thanks to Jean for his wonderful friendship and food! It all started with those mussels we brought him 30 years ago and traded for a dinner, after we harvested them off a sunken boat off Gay Head. We will certainly miss the restaurant and the food. Susan and Robert Baum Derby, Conn. Jean, thanks for all those fabulous meals over the years. My parents, Don and Marian Mohr, spent many years dining year-round at your wonderful restaurant. You'll certainly be missed by locals and summer crowds alike. Steve Fletcher Tega Cay, S.C. From Page Twelve NEEDS CORRECTING Editors, Vineyard Gazette: I have never met Barbara Schiesinger and have no relationship with her whatsoever, yet I am compelled to write to the editor. I have never in my life written a public letter. This woman and her family need our support. She obviously cherishes the Vineyard as we all do and yet our local elected officials have failed to preserve our coveted Island. The Allen Farm has made a mistake. It needs to be cor- rected and the beauty of our Island needs to be preserved. Tom Durovsik Chappaquiddick UNWANTED NOTES Editors, Vineyard Gazette: To the two people who felt the need to leave notes on nay windshield at the rtha's Vineyard Hospital parking lot. I needed to drive myself to the emer- gency room early Thursday morning which resulted in a five-day hospital stay. I parked my BMW convertible in the closest open spot to the ER. I was not well and quickly glanced to make sure it was not a handicapped space. The sign says Fuel Efficient so I thought nothing of parking there as I get 36 miles per gallon. Who appointed you the parking Nazi? If policing fuel- efficient parking spaces at the hospital makes you feel like you're saving the environment, well then you might have a field day under the canopy at Cronig's! By the way, did you ever think of the tree you killed for your note paper? Oh jeez.., you might not be able to sleep at night. Annie Bradshaw West Tisbury STUDIO TOUR Editors, Vineyard Gazette: This past weekend Featherstone Center for the Arts sponsored an Is- land-wide tour of artist studios. Sev- enteen painters and photographers, one tapestry designer and one jeweler welcomed us to their homes and work- ing studios. We met artists We had never met, were introduced to their work, traveled down and explored roads w.e: hjad neve C traveled before.. Our..tlhs-AtoAthflats anlal( tO :the, hardwoing staff, anvolunteers who made the weekend tours so successful with maps and artist biographies, and put a finishing touch to the weekend event with a great party at Feather- stone. Thank you Featherstone, and Island artists!! Jeanne V. Campbell Vineyard Haven FILM CREDITS FOR A FERRY Editors, Vineyard Gazette: While it would seem that plenty of folks know that James Dean got his first real show business break while on the Vineyard, surprisingly few know that the ferry Governor was in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentlemen with Deborah Winger and Richard Gere. Commissioned in 1954 and then called Kulshan, the ferry served Puget Sound. It was renamed the Governor when serving.New York Harbor's Governor's Island not too far from where her sister ship, the Islander, was scrapped. Guilty of looking too much like a ship and not enough like an SUM, the Governor may not survive too many more seasons. Fred McLennan Vineyard Haven GROWING THREAT Editors, Vineyard Gazette: Two weeks ago I wrote a letter to this paper in an attempt to raise the level of concern about West Nile fever and other mosquito-borne diseases coming to this Island. In my letter I urged a program of mosquito control which included aer- ial spraying and elimination of areas of stagnant water where r0osquitoes breed. According to information released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as of August 28, the number of cases of West Nile fever in the U.S. had risen to 1,590, with 66 deaths. Cases have oc- curred in all of the lower 48 states, and the number is expected to grow. Is anyone paying attention? Dr. John B. Thomas Oak Bluffs TIRELESS DEDICATION Editors, Vineyard Gazette: The following letter was sent to the board of directors at the Martha's Vine- yard Museum. Congratulations on your selection of Hugh Knipmeyer as a recipient of the Martha's Vineyard Medal. No one deserves the honor more than Hugh for his unselfish, tireless and extraordinary dedication to the Martha's Vineyard Museum, formerly Dukes County His- torical Society, and the Martha's Vine- yard Historical Society. Hugh first arrived as a Sunday volun- teer and recognized the valuable heri- tage and incredible collections at a time when the institution was almost dead and broke. It was his insight, foresight and vision, plus hours and hours of hard work that breathed life into what is now the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Hugh always saw the potential and maintained his vision as he was the guiding light through rough waters, surviving rogue waves. He fought un- expected battles with quiet dignity and quality thought. The Martha's Vineyard Museum is most fortunate to have had Hugh Knip- meyer step through its doors. And I Wi.5'fdrt.t t {(e',liad th;3'huDr of warlmg wgta him shanng:he, gQ,qd and bad for a better day. ludith Hoglund Bruguiere New London, N.H. The Vineyard Gazette welcomes letters to the editor on any subject concerning Martha's Vineyard. The newspaper strives to publish all letters as space allows, although the editor reserves the right to reject letters that in her judgment are inappropriate. Let- ters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact tele- phone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters. \\;/audng in Shadow of West Bank Conjures Up Complex Emotions By PHYLLIS MERAS MISS,ED ANGEtA DAVIS'S DEScmPTIoN LAST MONTH OF LIFE ON Pales- tine s West Bank when she was there on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace. I did, however, read last week's letters about her talk and Alan M. Dershowitz's attack of her view of the inhumanity to west Bank residents. I add to the discussion now only because, just six months ago, I, too, was a visitor there. I went there from Israel. In Israel, it was a time when both ultra-orthodox Jews and Zionist orthodox Jews were much in the news -- the former be- cause one had spat on an eight-year-old girl he deemed immodestly dressed and because other ultra-Orthodox men wished women to be forced to sit in the back of public buses. Ultra-orthodox Jews, I learned on that visit, are those who study in religious seminaries and at that time were not required to do the military service required of all other young Israeli men (and women). Now, :!511;: ii!!!i00iiiii00!i!iiiiiiii!!!iii!ii!!ill West Bank barrier. however, that may be changing. I also learned that Zionist orthodox Jews do serve courageously in the army and excel as fighters. But they were in the news, too, because Zionist orthodox soldiers were demanding that female singers be banned from army entertain- ments because the soldiers felt that it was not appropriate that they see and hear them. Also, I learned that it is the Zionist orthodox who make up the majority of West Bank settlers -- in both legal and illegal settlements. While I was in Israel, one of these illegal Zionist orthodox set- tlements had been demolished by Israeli army soldiers with much outcry from the settlers and threats of retaliation against West Bank residents -- the Palestinians. And so I decided to visit the West Bank to see and learn whatever I could about life there. The West Bank, of course is the west bank of the Jordan River. It was part of the British mandate of Palestine, annexed by Jordan in 1949 after its war with the burgeoning nation of Israel. Following the unsuccessful Six-Day War of 1967, this land was occupied by Israel as a protection against aggression from Arab neighbors. While I was still in Jerusalem, a young Israeli woman with whom I was dis- cussing my plans to visit the West Bank said to me: "You must understand what some Israelis believe about settlements. They feel what they're doing is no dif- ferent from what you did founding your country. You took the land from Na- tive Americans to do something better with it than they had. We Israelis, too, improve the land." But then when I was on the West Bank, a Palestinian challenged the Is- raeli claim that it was they who had made the desert bloom ,'We had citrus growing in Gaza long before Zionism," she said. My West Bank visit took me to Ra- mallah, where a Palestinian Christian whose family lives across the border in Jerusalem told me she is only allowed into Jerusalem for Christmas and Easter. (I was reminded of East Berlin where I had been at the time that the Berlin Wall still stood and only the elderly East Germans were allowed to go to visit their families in the West for special celebrations.) In Bethlehem, I paid a visit to an Arab refugee camp where the face of a 16-year-old boy was painted on the wall of his home. He had been shot and killed by Israeli soldiers for stone- throwing and is now the martyr of the camp -- a refuse-strewn facility that has been home tbr decades to Palestinians displaced by Jewish settlers. In the past, this anguish and anger has unfortunately resulted in incidents of violence. This has led to the building of a high wall between the West Bank and Israel. When I left the West Bank, I passed the graffiti-covered wall. I was told that it seemed to have done some good. There have been no suicide bombings in Israel in the past two years. Many of the secular Jews with whom I talked in Israel -- descendants of the socialist founders of Israel -- expressed their fear that there might never be peace in this troubled Holy Land un- less there was one Jewish state and one Arab state. But they wondered if that could ever be, with the increasing political power of the Orthodox who are determinedly against this solution. Among notable Israelis endorsing this two-state solution is the author Amos Oz, with whom I spoke. Was that really a possibility, I asked. There have been so many failed attempts at it. "I live in a land of prophesy," he said with a sigh, "but that is something I will not prophesy." In Case of Lightning, Grab a Lama By HOLLY HODDER EGER AST FRIDAY, PRESSED FOR TIME, I took the evening Cape Air flight to Boston, having enjoyed a few days alone after settling my daughters at their collges on opposite coasts. Sum- mer was over and I was of course sad to be leaving the Vineyard and already missing the people I didn't have time to see and things I didn't have time to do, feeling a bit beleaguered by all the "letting go" thrust upon me in one week. The airport was so still and quiet I thought I had the time wrong, but the attendant said there were only two pas- sengers. I glanced around and saw, pray- ing on his knees at the front window, a young Tibetan monk in a saffron robe. I laughed to myselfbecanse the friend who had just dropped me offhad admonished me to be "more Buddhist" in the art of letting go, and here I was alone with the real thing. As my friends in California say, the universe is not always subtle. Across the tarmac I followed the pe- tite lama. He was carrying a backpack a thiM the size of my purse and snapping photos of himself on his iPhone, beam- ing with childlike joy. I offered to take his picture in front of the wing, which inspired the pilot to climb down to be in a photo, whereupon the whole smiley Vineyard flight crew posed with him in another until I couldn't resist being in one, too. His joy was infectious. Geshe had been invited to the Vine- yard by two of his students from the Kurukulla Center in Medford. He was happy because he had put his feet in the ocean for the first time in his life. He sat in the co-pilot's seat and I right behind him. I tried to point out places, but it was too hard to shout over the Cessna engine, so we just enjoyed the spectacular view and golden twilight and felt glad. Abruptly, a few miles south of Boston, we flew into sudden darkness just as a lightning bolt exploded in my win- dow. Maybe I imagined it, but I felt an electric shock radiate up my arms. We had already begun our descent but the pilot, following orders from air traffic control, quickly circled the plane to try to circumvent the lightning. I've flown hundreds of thousands of miles and have never been afraid on any size plane apart from once, a long time ago, when a Malaysian Airlines engine blew out over Borneo. I assumed the lama mttst have ',ttrvtved terrible' ordeals to have escaped fr0mTib4( and that, like me, he wasn't planning to die over Boston Harbor. So maybe it was because he had been a guest on my Island home that I felt compelled to Geshe and Cape Air pilot. On Katama: At the ocean for the first time in his life. Pictures by Holly Eger reach forward and put my hand on his shoulder -- when, in fact, I was the one who needed reassurance. "What happens if we get struck?" I asked. "We die," he said calmly. He took my hand and placed it on his cheek and 1 relaxed, because there was no way anything bad was going to happen to us with a Buddhist monk like this one on board. We had to get on the ground, fast, so the pilot gave up circling and angled the plane sharply toward the closest driver as we scurried to Cape Air's terminal, veering around corners and dodging gigantic jumbo jets. A soak- ing wet teenager in foul-weather gear guided us into our parking space, light- ning flashing like a barrage of bullets off the pavement, then jumped inside our little plane out of the rain.., and began texting his friends. The pilot, the lama and I huddled together for the next half hour waiting for the storm to pass. Geshe told us about his escape from Tibet across the Himalayas with two other monks. He ; runw.At ;n't exatly,a nose dive .1,9. at tokd;bem a morgtl hiing but m ilot'10 seconds bllndrlgxaln at, mght an lildmg during the day on 'pelting the front ,iinadig amid b6ottis ' "gfibwvfiNas t0 hVoiffthe Chinese B0rd of thunder and zigzags of electricity, guards, who would have shot them. he somehow managed a skillful, soft Finally they reached India, and I don't landing, know how they got to Massachusetts. The pilot now became a race-car He looked so sad as he recounted this; he really missed his family. The pilot asked what the secret to Buddhist peace was, and Geshe pointed to his head. 'All your problems come from your mind. lust take the T out." "But my problems come from the bills I have to pay," the pilot said. Geshe grinned. "Who buy every- thing?" The thunder finally stopped but it was still pouring when we were allowed to leave the plane. I wish someone could have taken our photo then as the lama and I sprinted, holding hands and laugh- ing our heads off, splashing through puddles into the terminal. I asked him if he had been afraid. "No. It is not my karma to die today." "I am so grateful you were on the plane," I said. Later, when I recounted the story to my son, he thought it sounded terrify- ing. No it wasn't, I told him. It was amaz- ing. Holly Hodder Eger is a writer who lives in Portola Valley, Calif., and West Tisbury. Two Roads Diverged, I Took the Ferry By BRAD AN'T GET THERF FROM EtERE. BERT AND I SAID IT HRST, but Chappaquiddick truly took the sentiment to heart. Giving (or receiving) directions on ('happy is nothing if not impossible. Sisyphus himself would have said "aw, screw it" after the third run-through of the same direction to the same person. There are markers on Chappy, real landmarks that denote location, which are fine if the location that you're describing is within 10 yards of that landmark. Any further and you must rely on the ever-changing mailbox or disappearing street post. And even if the streets or driveway are named by that rare telltale lettering, who here remembers their names? I've been here going on 49 years and I could not name more than four of the roads on Chappy, Okay, three. Add to this confusion that distance seems relative to Chappy folks. One person mile may be another person's three miles. Odometer watchers, you may be doomed to find yourself outside a chicken coop near Poucha. Trust me. Oh, but what of the wonders of GPS mapping systems? Who needs directions when you have Google Maps? Every- one on Chappy, that's who. True, you may be able to navigate the first straight mile (three miles) of the Chappy Road, and the immediate 10-yards surrounding it with a Garmin, but navigation becomes more difficult elsewhere when the Garmin actually can be heard to sob, "I don't know! I can only do so much!" Even with satellite assistance, you can still find yourself driving though somebody's yard, then field -- believing that at any moment the GPS will be vindicated and North Neck Road will appear like Vallhalla before you (this happened not once but twice during our tenure at the Marshall Farm). WOODGER There may have been a day when it was easier, and more fruitful, to give directions on Chappy, That was a day when people listened. Now we are inveterate non-listeners, only able to accept information in 20-second bytes until our brains have moved on to another more relevant thought. Witness any shopper in the Stop & Shop querying a manager as to where the brown rice pasta is shelved, and then said person moving halfway down the aisle before an answer has even formed in the manager's mind. Now imagine the difficulty of holding a person's attention long enough to say: "Okay. Take the ferry from Edgatown to Chappy, Where's that? Ask someone in Edgartown. Then get offthe ferry. Yes, you need to get offthe ferry. Then drive about point six miles to a dirt road on your right. You'll pass the beach club on your left and a pond on your right. The beach club? You'll recognize it. You just will. Fine, it has red white and blue hats on its cabanas. Cabanas? They're like little houses. Turn right onto that dirt road. It's called Litchfield Road, but I can't remember if the sign is still there, then go past maybe a dozen mailboxes.., maybe more, maybe less, and turn left on either the second, third or fourth road you come to... "The eyes glaze over, or the pencil can be heard clicking down on the other end of the phone. But I suspect that Chappy knows what it is doing. Many of us come here to be not found.., at least for a little while. In fact, Chappy has become so good at hiding our whereabouts that when someone stops me on the road for directions, I don't skip a beat, but point skyward. "Quick! Follow that crow!" Gazette contributor Brad Woodger lives on Chappaquid- dick, where he often cannot be found.