When I first showed up to the Vineyard in 1988 as a candidate for state representative in the newly created Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket District, I knew maybe six people on the Island and Bob Morgan wasn’t one of them.
Fortunately for me, Bob decided I was his candidate, and he took me around to the VFW, the scallop shucking hall, the senior centers, the coffee shops and other places where Islanders could be found in the off-season.
I soon found out that Bob was related to a lot of Vineyarders and knew most of the rest, particularly in the down-Island towns. I carried the Island in that election, and it wouldn’t have happened without Bob Morgan.
Bob was the Island’s legislative liaison at the time, and I was happy to keep him on in that post. The job involved periodic visits to Boston, and when he and I got there, I found the universe of people he knew included many at the state house. His courtly manner and Island accent had won him lots of friends, and he opened many doors there for this newly elected representative.
Bob was not courtly all the time in those days; an elected county commissioner, he felt strongly about many public issues and did not hold back his views. But his opinions were always based on what he felt was best for the Island and its people.
Years after his retirement, I would ocasionally run into him, always accompanied by his wife and soul mate Allouise. I knew for sure I would always see him at the Fourth of July Edgartown parade proudly wearing his World War II uniform, where we would share a big hug and a big hello.
The last time I saw him I was handing out my campaign literature at the Edgartown post office, and he asked if he could join me. He still knew everyone who walked in the door.
Goodbye, Bob, and thank you for your service — to your town, your Island, your state and your country.
Eric T. Turkington lives in Falmouth and is the Cape and Islands state representative.