From Gazette editions of July, 1949:
Just three days from now the first delegation of Fresh Air Fund children from New York city will reach the Island, under the auspices of Mrs. Daniel Manter and her committee of the West Tisbury Grange. They are coming up on the Cape Codder and will be met at Woods Hole by emissaries of the grange, prepared to keep a careful eye on the youngsters once they get to roaming around the ferry, for perhaps their first sea voyage. The trip is made possible through the New York Herald Tribune fund and the cooperation of various agencies in that city.
Hosts are Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mazzoli, who are staying at Seven Gates Farm, that great and beautiful estate which alone could absorb at least a platoon of young visitors, and Mrs. M. Norman Mitchell of West Chop. Others who are to entertain are Mrs. Robert Hufstader, Mr. and Mrs. William Pinney Sr., Mr. and Mrs. W. Pinney Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Grant, all of Edgartown; Mrs. Howard Young of Harthaven; Mr. and Mrs. Denys Wortman, Mrs. Maxwell Trumper, and Mrs. Norman Burt of Vineyard Haven; and Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop Hudson of Lagoon Heights
They came, they saw, they conquered — the best brief way of saying that the Vineyard took the Fresh Air Fund eleven to its collective heart upon their arrival.
It seems safe to say that the extremely favorable impression made by the youngsters wherever they have appeared, in the company of their proud foster-parents, will give impetus to the movement. There has not been time to check with all the families entertaining the eleven, but the experience of the William Pinneys Sr. and Jr., of Edgartown, and their two teen-age lads, is certainly a fair sample..
These two youngsters, Nicky Hendrick and Charlie Spruyt, hail from South Brooklyn,, N.Y., not the finsest place to pass the long, hot summer days. Dodger fans as it goes almost without saying, the boys have shown the greatest enthusiasm and appreciation of everything, from horses, cows, calves, chickens and other farm livestock, to movies, softball and other good times.
In store for the whole group is a party at the Martha’s Vineyard Cooperative Dairy sponsored by the 4-H Future Farmers. Mr. Pinney Sr. reports that the childen ride free on the Chappy ferry, thanks to Foster Silva’s generosity, that Steve Gentle plans to take them on a flight, that people keep calling up offering to take them sailing or picknicking. Softball practice is now underway. Alfred Hall, manager of the moving picture theatres of the Island, promises that a pass will be available for each of the youngsters at a theatre of their choice.
Today is Exodus Day, a sad one, for the first Fresh Air guests. The youngsters have packed a lot of living into their fourteen days, and one of them has fourteen days’ grace, as his hostess has arranged to have him stay for two weeks more. The youngsters have had their days filled with happy activities — swimming, hayrides, marionette shows and sailing on their itinerary. They are carrying home with them becoming coats of tan and extra poundage — one little girl gained twelve pounds in the first week they were here‚ and happy memories of a vacation on a sea-girt Island.
It may not do him much good in Brooklyn, right now, but Charlie Spruyt has developed an intense interest in egg and milk production, from his days spent on the farm of his host, William W. Pinney. Charlie was a great helper and worried if a cow dropped even half a pound a day in her milk production. He collected the eggs, graded them, and has altogether shown such a keen agriculltural interest that it is hoped there will be many more country vacations ahead of him.
The New York Herald Tribune printed yesterday, in its daily report of Fresh Air Fund doings, a letter from William Pinney, a Fresh Air Fund host. “As one who shared the pleasure of having two very splendid young Americans,” the letter said, “let me say that it is an eye-opener to see exactly what your program is doing and means to the youth in the city of New York...Personally, I don’t see how anyone can call himself a Christian who has an empty bed when these city youngsters are crying for its use.”
Compiled by Cynthia Meisner