The Purloined Pastry

From Gazette editions of July, 1984:

Tom Rush, a folk musician whom Vineyarders have watched grow up, used to visit when he was just a teenage troubadour. It was in the late 1950s and early 60s and he used to travel the up-Island hillsides in summer and perform at places like the Chilmark Community Center. Years later he performed at the Moon-Cusser Coffee House on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs. Later still, when he had become a recording artist of stature, he returned to perform at the Tabernacle. But that was some time ago and the music Tom sang in those days was folk music and his records were often heard on the local radio stations.

This weekend at the Edgartown Whaling Church, Tom brought back that music and more. He brought forthcoming material for another album. Tom’s voice hasn’t changed. His baritone enunciates the stories of songs and draws listeners in compellingly. He drew laughter throughout the evening with his anecdotes. When someone shouted a request from the audience, Tom declined, saying he’d do another song. He then turned back to the disappointed person in the audience and said, “But this one has many of the same notes in it.”

The Vineyard Conservation Society sold the Dark Woods subdivision in Edgartown last Friday to Dark Woods Associates, a partnership which was formed through Tom Wallace of Wallace and Company Realtors. Dark Woods Associates bought the property which is in two pieces — 59 acres and 14 acres — for $656,180. In 1982 the Vineyard Conservation Society bought the land from Richard and Jean Hathaway for $600,000. Dark Woods stretches between the West Tisbury and the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Roads, and includes the parking area across the street from the Square Rigger Restaurant.

Tom Counter, director the Vineyard Conservation Society, said the money from the sale of Dark Woods will be used to help Edgartown in the purchase of the Katama Airport property, and also in the purchase of the 22-acre Pond Lot property near South Beach. Mr. Counter said the Dark Woods property was planned by the Vineyard Open Land Foundation under the direction of the Katama Farm Committee, a subcommittee of the conservation society made up of Edgartown residents. The property is in an area of Edgartown which is zoned for half-acre lots. Mr. Counter said the Vineyard Conservation Society bought the land to stave off the prospect of “150 houses emptying into that intersection by the Square Rigger.”

A Milford, N.H. man was arraigned in Edgartown District Court on charges of breaking and entering a building at night, larceny, assault and battery and disorderly conduct. It all began, authorities say, wtth a bite of Peter White’s apple strudel.

On the night of the Fourth of July, at the Old Stone Bakery in Oak Bluffs, Peter White was in the back room of his shop, baking for the next morning, when a man came in through the back door. Mickey White, Peter’s mother, said the man asked if he could take a piece of apple strudel off a baking rack, but Peter replied no. The man then seized the strudel and took flight on foot. Peter pursued him.

Mr. White reportedly chased the man on Circuit avenue to the arcade where he was caught. After his capture, an argument ensued which attracted a crowd and the police. Police officers James Craig and Richard Kelly made the arrest. It was unclear yesterday afternoon just what had become of the strudel at the center of the story. Oak Bluffs police chief Peter Williamson said the purportedly purloined pastry was not produced in court as evidence.

The fireflies and whippoorwills are to a summer evening as the pinkletinks are to an evening in spring. Until you have heard the whippoorwills either nearby or in the distance, you have not experienced summer night. Even the stars are not so essential.

The sun has set, and the formal, businesslike afterglow has ebbed; the birds stir only a little, the fragrance that comes with evening is unloosed and floods the air — you can say that it is warm or you can say that it is cool; either statement will be correct; you walk out and it seems to be summer night, yet it isn’t . . . not yet, not completely.

Then perhaps you come to a hedgerow or end of an old wood road, or you come to a pasture where the wild roses have begun to bloom against stone walls, and the boulders are gray in the dusky fields. You see the fireflies against the dark wall of the woods, and you hear the whippoorwill . . . then it is summer and no mistake.

If there are stars, so much the better. If you feel the breeze, warm and sweet; if you hear the lapping of the water against the wharf spile or a boat or a sandy beach; if you see a light in the window of a house and hear vaguely a sound of voices, so much the better too.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner

library@mvgazette.com