Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Life seldom makes sense, especially when those we love are taken from us in ways that are as terrible as they are inexplicable, and such was Joy Flanders’s untimely passing as the end result of a 15-month battle with melanoma which she waged so bravely.

Those of us who were privileged to know her were always inspired by the drive, energy and enthusiasm with which she approached anything that she put either her hand or her mind to, and which clearly illustrate her power and effectiveness as an educator.

Joy lighted the way for her family, friends, students and associates, and even though she is gone, her memory will continue to be inspirational, as each of us who knew her remember her in our own individual ways with memories that are as indelible as if they were carved into granite.

I don’t think that a classroom existed anywhere that was large enough to fully contain her love for her work, combined with her sincere, deep and abiding interest in the welfare and development of her students. There was certainly not enough room in the entire expanse of Abel’s Hill to fit all the love that I was so honored to witness as Joy went to her final resting place.

She will be sorely and most grievously missed, but the memories of her will live on, and in case anyone didn’t know, it wasn’t merely Wednesday, Feb. 23, on Martha’s Vineyard, it was Joy Flanders Day.

Michael F. Fontes

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Huck Look’s obituary states that his grand jury testimony about the Ted Kennedy Chappaquiddick automobile accident was “the subject of much mystery and speculation.” Actually, Huck never gave any testimony at the very short and delayed grand jury proceedings. He did, however, make a chance, but crucial, observation of Kennedy on that fateful night of July 19 and 20, 1969, which he reported the following morning.

Huck, then a deputy sheriff, was on special duty at the Edgartown Yacht Club dance until 12:30 a.m., after which the club launch took him to the ferry landing on Chappaquiddick where his car was parked. In driving home, he took the abrupt turn to the right on Chappaquiddick Road. As he turned, his headlights scanned a large dark car going the other way with a man driving, a woman in the front passenger seat, and he thought, but was not sure, a third person in the back seat. That car continued straight onto Cemetery Road and stopped. Huck, thinking the person was lost, pulled over, got out, and walked toward the car to offer aid. As he neared, the car suddenly went into reverse, swung around, and took off eastward on Dike Road in a cloud of dust. He glanced at the license plate long enough to see it began with “L7” and ended with a “7.” Minutes later that car went off Dike Bridge into Poucha Pond. The time: 12:40 a.m. The only car on the island that night with those characteristics was an Olds ’88, license number L78 207, owned by Edward M. Kennedy.

This sighting undermined Kennedy’s claim it was about 11:25 p.m., a time he needed to claim he was driving to the On Time ferry, and he needed that excuse to justify driving at that time of night with an unmarried young woman. Huck’s observations also undermined Kennedy’s claim of inadvertently making a wrong turn onto Dike Road (which Judge Boyle at the inquest wrote was unbelievable). More likely Kennedy, in speeding off east on Dike Road, was worried about a possible sobriety test from the uniformed officer.

Huck’s chance observation and his reliable reputation played a crucial role in that investigation.

Donald F. Nelson

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

My memories of Huck Look reflect two brief visits with Marge since the early 1940s and lots of Christmas cards and e-mails. My husband and I had one last visit in their home a few years before John died in the early 2000s.

John was also a big, quiet man. That one visit with Marge and Huck in their home was a joy. Their love for each member of their family, for the Island and for each other was a blessing to observe and listen to.

John and Huck sat on a stairway outside a shop waiting for Marge and me inside shopping and they quickly opened their lives to each other. I hope that Huck experienced those several minutes as John did, as truly treasured, personal moments.

We always wanted to accept their sincere invitation to return and pick up where we left off, but it never happened. as John continued to struggle with health issues until his big body and heart died.

I hope now they have picked up their conversation where they left off.

Elaine Buker

Pensacola, Fla.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Have you stopped by down-Island Cronig’s lately? Okay, now it is time to take a deep breath and let out a long sigh. Watch what is arising!

After a recent sunrise yoga class, I overheard one of the participants (I won’t mention names) expressing hesitation at going to Cronig’s for a few things she needed. I butted in with a suggestion that she not be in a hurry or it would be a frustrating experience. Then everyone joined in to share about the wide range of emotions that the renovation of Cronig’s is bringing forth for them.

“Okay, I said . . . this is a great opportunity to take your yoga off the mat and welcome in everything just as it is!” They raised their eyebrows at this suggestion. After a few moments the ahas started to surface. Well, yes, someone said. I have been making connections with people that are lost in the aisles and we help each other find what we are looking for. We end up laughing as if we are in a maze and children trying to find the golden egg. We are all so vulnerable with the situation that our guards are let down momentarily. How about the chaos of never knowing where anything is and the essence of it always changing-the cosmic joke. Once you think you have figured everything out and life is going to be perfect, it changes. Just like the weather and seasons we are all living on an Island of change and now we have a manifestation of it at Cronig’s!

If this is getting too out there for you, consider the practical implications of the Cronig’s dilemma. Many nutritionists are pointing people to a whole foods eating regimen. When I give a whole foods cooking workshop I always suggest that people consider shopping the perimeter of the store where all the almost-live foods are. Stay away from the middle aisles where all the packaged goods are. Ironically, the outer perimeter of the store is the only consistent shopping area at Cronig’s. The middle aisles are the ones that are constantly changing.

Can you imagine what life has been like for the Cronig’s staff over this winter? Have they had to receive all the frustration and confusion?

Hopefully the project will be complete before the off-Island folks arrive in June. That factor would add a whole other dimension to the experience.

Thank you Steve Bernier and the entire Cronig’s staff for providing a daily practice ground to put any being in the present moment disciplines into reality. The opportunity to see how simply going to the grocery store can stress you out if you let it.

May wandering the Cronig’s aisle remind us of the impermanence of being human, and may our community deepen to welcome it “all” in.

MJ Bindu Delekta

Vineyard Haven

Blue Cullen


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. Letters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact telephone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters.