On a Sunday afternoon in July about 10 years ago the Beach Club was alive with excitement. Dexter Nerney had purchased blue sea glass at a gift shop during the off-season and brought it to the Vineyard. On that Sunday afternoon, he scattered it around the beach and then sat with some friends with his wonderful impish grin to watch the action.
Dexter is well known for being a generous friend. For Craig Dripps, a retired math teacher at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, he created a rock sculpture on balsa wood entitled MV Math Rocks. Next time you’re in the Dripps’s dining room, look carefully at the fine detail of the sculpture. You can’t help but laugh. Similar sculptures sell for several hundred dollars in gift shops around the Island.
Dexter has built a business around the selling of novelty pins. This spring his company achieved an important milestone when its production exceeded a billion pins. The key to his success has been clever captions. As a writer, I am sometimes asked to define creativity. It’s not an easy concept to define. For that reason, I prefer instead to point to it.
In honor of a Fourth of July tradition started more than 30 years ago by Al and Mahat Guest, we raised the flag and read the Declaration of Independence at 9:30 a.m. at the Hazelton’s house. Son Jim Guest presided. Grandson Alex Hazelton raised the flag. The Declaration was read by grandson Tad Hazelton, granddaughter Betsy Guest, across the street neighbor John Bowden, and Jim Guest. It’s worthwhile once a year to read and reflect on the Declaration of Independence. If you haven’t read through it recently, I suggest you go online and do so.
The award for patriotic display for this year’s Fourth goes to Barbara and Barry Carroll. They adorned their beautiful home on East Chop Drive with 15 Independence period flags. One fascinating flag had 13 stars and 15 stripes. Barry speculated that it took a while for the new nation to settle on a flag design. The 15 stripes in this flag represented the addition of two states. At some point the designers must have decided that adding stripes as new states came on board would become unwieldy. Adding stars for new states seemed to make more sense.
Another fascinating one was black and white with a snake prominently displayed. The inscription read: “Don’t Tread on Me.” Look for these flags on the Carroll house next year on July 4th. Barry promises they will be back.
The annual Fourth of July Beach Club party was a huge success. I have never before seen so many people there. The beautiful weather that night may have had something to do with it. As I sat and watched people with my good friend Les Woodcock, I was reminded again why I so enjoy writing this column. We are privileged to live in a unique community with many interesting and creative people. My job as columnist has been made easy. It involves little more than watching and listening.