The long Thanksgiving weekend was a busy time on Chappaquiddick. Many people usually here in the summer were seen enjoying a late-season visit to the island. Besides the homes where family and friends gathered around their annual feasts, people met up with other people in concentrated numbers at a couple of places last Saturday.
The walking tours hosted by Bob and Edo Potter at Pimneymouse Farm on Saturday morning were attended by about 60 enthusiastic hikers. Two separate walks took place: one through the fields toward the Dyke Bridge and the other through the woods toward the marsh islands in Poucha Pond. The road to the islands proved to be too wet for continuing on through the marsh, but much enthusiasm and gratitude were expressed at the chance to spend time on this special piece of land.
On Saturday afternoon, at the Open House and Craft Sale at the community center, Abigail and Lynn had a fire going and served up hot cider and cookies. People came by to pick up the 2013 Chappy photo calendar, which has a nice selection of Chappy views. There are more calendars available if you didn’t order yours yet.
Annie told me again the story of how her father, Roger Heywood, and friend Bob Marshall, former owner of the Marshall Farm, were sitting drinking beers one afternoon many years ago at the Heywood cottage on Cape Pogue Pond. One of them looked out across the pond and said, “I think the lighthouse is moving.” The other looked and confirmed it actually was moving. In 1987 it was lifted by helicopter to a spot farther from the eroding bank. That was the fourth time the wooden lighthouse, built in 1893, had been moved. According to Wikipedia, it was the first lighthouse to be moved by helicopter. Also, according to the online encyclopedia, it was at least the fourth lighthouse built at Cape Pogue — the first one being built in 1801. Erosion seems to have been a problem since the beginning.
Also at the CCC open house, Captain Bob Gilkes brought his collection of sunset and sunrise photos, as well as other ones showing the changes at Wasque Point over time. He also shared flower seeds saved from his garden this past summer. Lily Morris displayed her line of photo cards from Fleur de Lis Studios, which you can find at her web site: Fleur-de-Lis-Studios.com. Her cards are available in Vineyard Haven at SBS, and on Fridays in December from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at her holiday shop at 4 Church street. I brought the results of my creative endeavors from last winter’s long evenings — hats and handbags made from recycled felted wool sweaters.
Next Wednesday, Dec. 5, the annual Ferry Captain and Crew Appreciation Potluck will be held at the community center starting at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share and have a conversation longer than one minute with the captains and crew that make our lifeline to the Vineyard something we can count on, weather considerations aside. Also on the calendar for December are the Holiday Tea on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m., and the Christmas Eve dinner on the 24th.
My sister Dorothy Knight came to the island for the holiday and ended up staying longer than expected — and not where she intended to stay, either. On Friday she took a fall and broke her right arm, which is her one serviceable arm. Since then she’s been staying at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital while a plan for rehab is figured out. One day while I was visiting Dorothy she called a church friend at home, one of the Empty Pew Committee members. A few friends who share a pew made up the committee to let each other know if one of them can’t make it to church .
The Slip Away farmers have been busy at the Marshall Farm with the tractor lent to them by Tom Osborn. They’ve planted garlic in the small garden near the house and are working on improving the soil around the farm. The secondhand chickens they got from the FARM Institute have not been laying, and with their new batch of chicks, the old ones will have to go. I took three of them to my chicken retirement home to join the three I presently have. On the first couple of days the two groups battled it out in pairs of new and old chickens, but they’ve come to accept each other. I think my old chickens like being part of a larger flock again. They all worked together to eat the worms out of the compost (for which I did not thank them) that I’d put in a new bed I planted with garlic.
By the time you read this you will have lived through one week of shotgun season, which is more than some deer can say. The season lasts until Dec. 8; muzzle loader season begins Dec. 10 and ends Dec. 31.
The Chappy ferry exhibit opened at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum last Saturday with talks by Peter Wells and Tom Dunlop. The exhibit will be up until Dec. 22. There are also great photos, ferry news and stories on the Chappy Ferry Facebook page, which you can see even if you don’t have a Facebook account. Tom Dunlop has been adding old photos to a timeline that starts over a hundred years ago. Facebook is also where I saw a photo of the new Generac generator at the Chappy slip. Peter says, “The generator will start up automatically when the power goes out to keep the lights on, the ramp lift motors running and the web cams working.” The generator uses propane, and if the new system works, he may put one on the Edgartown side as well.
We are sorry to hear of the death of Dr. Joseph Murray, longtime Chappy summer resident. Dr. Murray performed the first successful human kidney transplant on identical twins in 1954, and had a long career as a plastic surgeon. In 1990 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries regarding organ and cell transplant. In 2001, his memoir Surgery of the Soul: Reflections on a Curious Career was published, which included stories about his work with individual patients and his recovery as a stroke patient. After his book came out, he shared his stories with a full house at the CCC. Burial and a brief prayer service will take place at the Edgartown Cemetery on Robinson Road on Monday, Dec. 3, at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome. The family plans a memorial service on Chappy next summer.