Tomahawk Corner’s blinker may wind up forgotten like its ancestor, the honest-to-God light that directed traffic at Farland Square at the base of Circuit avenue in 1930. Knotting knickers Island-wide, I wonder what venerable Vineyard Gazette publisher Henry Beetle Hough would have said about the soon-to-be-completed roundabout?
In an idyllic piece on the centennial of Cottage City’s secession from Edgartown in 1980, describing a 1907 photograph, he wrote, “Significantly, the only vehicles to be seen on the Circuit avenue of that time are three horse-drawn carriages, one an open truck. The significance, which hindsight now informs us, lies in the fact that the automobile was fated to bring about the end of the fantasy existence of Cottage City.” He continued, “At Cottage City, the excursionist and vacationer left the ordinary world behind…the verandas and balconies were for sitting and watching the summer parade of vacationers stroll past. The avenue itself was more for strolling and shopping than what was now called transportation. In 1907 Cottage City had seven livery stables and no garages. The Tivoli, spick, span and new…was being advertised as ‘the new casino’ and a photograph shows its street-side balcony crowded, its banners flying, and only one or two automobiles that can be easily identified in the concourse of men, women, children and horse-drawn carriages in the street.” Describing ice cream parlors, salt water taffy and popcorn, reminiscing of promenades, band concerts and rides on the Flying Horses, Mr. Hough’s piece includes remarkable architectural and historical tidbits about our favorite town. He ended by saying, “There’s hardly any convincing proof now that it ever existed, in spite of old pictures and annals. But it did exist, and the coming of the automobile swept it all away, the fantasy, innocence, particular gaiety, and, one should add, inconveniences, too, though they were part of the character and part of the fun. It could not have been possible, but if some millionaire of the time, more farsighted than was ever likely, could have assured the preservation of the old fantasy town, close kindred to the Camp Ground itself, what a living museum the Island would possess today!”
I think Mr. Hough would have been annoyed by the blinker, much less the roundabout. I drove around the roundabout twice (as in around and around) and so far it seems like a better traffic flow. Once it’s finished, I’m sure it will be very attractive, especially when they add the fountain. Now we can tell folks in America we don’t have any traffic lights at all.
Congratulations to Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company for being named as having the best clam chowder and Dockside Inn for being the best harbor- front hotel in New England by Yankee Magazine.
On Tuesday, representatives of The Trustees of Reservations describe its properties and what they do (besides manage great beaches at Long Point, Cape Pogue and Wasque, among others) at the Oak Bluffs Library at 6 p.m.
Professor Herb Foster speaks at the library Thursday at 6 p.m. on the everyday use of Yiddish and Jive – two idioms I was startled to see in the same sentence. I’m sure it will be a spiel few know bupkes about.
The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living will be the beneficiary of a Sharkey’s Dine to Donate on Tuesday.
Kristin Buck, president, announces that on Thursday the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network awards its annual business grant of $2,500 to Heidi Feldman and Curtis Friedman of Down Island Farm (producers of MV Sea Salt) at Featherstone. The program, Kick Off, Survive and Thrive, begins at 8 a.m. with a walk through Oak Bluffs’ historic trails and features Dr. Wendy Chabot of Vineyard Mind & Body Medicine and my neighbor Kimberly Cartwright of Om of Motion who will offer tips for healthy living during high season on Martha’s Vineyard. Silly me, I thought high season was winter.
Holly Alaimo reminds us about Featherstone’s Garden Tea Party and Fashion Show next Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., which coincides with the Art of Flowers show she is curating. Tickets are $40 at 508-693-1850 and going fast. There are contests for fancy hats and creative outfits. Holly and jazzy hubby John Alaimo have a 48th anniversary coming up, congratulations, love birds!
Roger Schilling’s C’est la Vie has the new “Summer White House” hats. B Tru’s new sign graces its new store and Coop de Ville and the Corner Store are open for the season – prematurely announced by my spotting several mopeds, spoiling it early for us all.
Maybe an Oak Bluffs Museum at the Sand Theater? The sign in front could be -- the blinker.
Keep your foot on a rock.