For a few minutes on Sunday afternoon, the Vineyard seemed supremely apathetic to a visit by the President of the United States. But that was because his arrival was unheralded, and when word got out that the cabin cruiser which had tied up at Edgartown carried a boatload of Kennedys - starring Caroline toward the bow - pandemonium broke loose around the harbor.
The day had been chilly and overcast, so only a handful of fishermen were dangling lines from the twon wharf. Near the yacht club, kids were throttling their outboards, and in the outer harbor a few sailboats were making passes at the yacht from Hyannisport which lay for several hours off Chappaquiddick.
From shore a few observers watched through binoculars as Mrs. Kennedy did some skilled water-skiing. They also saw Caroline taken ashore to with other youngsters at Northam Warren’s beach.


They Let Out a Holler

But word of these activities was oddly slow in reaching Edgartown, so when a pair of Coast Guard launches began escorting the yacht into the harbor, hardly a fisherman on the wharf paused to watch her progress. But as she inched by, the few who looked up let out a holler at the highly recognizable passengers.
“Look,” exclaimed one astonished witness - “it’s Caroline!”
And so it was. The 4-yer old was lounging topside under a huge yellow blanket. Beside her was a slightly older boy - her cousin, Stephen Smith Jr. - and Caroline was trying to use the blanket to play peekaboo with him.
The adults were gathered in the stern cockpit. These included the President and Mrs. Kennedy, his sister and brother in law, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Smith, and guests from the Vineyard who had been boating with them. It was to drop off these guests that the cruiser - letting on her stern identified her as the “Patrick J., Washington, D. C.” - pulled up at Chadwick’s dock, between the yacht club and the town wharf.
The time was 3:20, and the Patrick J. remained there about ten minutes, which was long enough for the news to spread that the President was in town.
From every direction hundreds of Vineyarders dashed to the harbor as bugs to a bulb. They lined the waterfront, peering at a scene that was like a familiar photograph brought to uncanny life.
The President and Jackie looked tan, fit and a bit dissheveled. Each wore white slacks and a dark brown windbreaker. The First Lady’s hairdo was so windblown that she would have to do a lot of teasing to make it bouffant again.

Camera-Wielders’ Plea

The Patrick J. was rapidly surrounded by dozens of small boats which scooted like busy beetles for preferred vantage-points. Most of the helmsmen were teen-agers who shouted hellos to the President. Some had cameras and pleaded, Look this way, Jack.”
After his guests had disembarked, the President waved to his seagoing well-wishers and also acknowledged the greetings which were called from the shorefront. Then the signal was give to drop the lines, and slowly the Patrick J. hove to and started out to sea.
Following in her wake was a fleet of power boats and sailing craft seeking a last look at the President. But soon the yacht, which is privately owned by the Kennedy family, pulled away from the,, and within ten minutes she had disappeared around Starbuck’s Neck on her way back to Hyannisport.
Though the Kennedy visit had begun unobtrusively in a low key, it ended on a festive note, and for an hour Vineyarders kept flocking to the harbor hoping in vain to catch a glimpse of the President, lazying away a gloomy Sunday.
His visit, however, drew an angry protest from one dockside dissident, who looked like a recent refugee from Wall Street. He sounded like one, too. “That man won’t give me any peace,” grumbled this elegant gentleman. “I came to the Vineyard to forget about Kennedy, and now he’s followed me here.”
During the President’s brief time ashore, his hand was shaken by Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., who had been at the Edgartown Yacht Club for dinner. Mr. Roosevelt had been stopping in town.
Unlike a year ago, when the Marlin arrived in Edgartown harbor with the presidential party and anchored beside Walter Bettencourt’s sloop Snafu just off the shore at the Chappaquiddick Beach Club, this summer the Snafu and Miss Alma Tilton, Miss Patricia Lawrence and Neil Bassett as guests, was waved off by men on the patrol boat as they sailed close to the Patrick J.

Nevertheless, one last run downwind between the yacht and the shoreline revealed a good view of the entire party before sailing back into the harbor.



Young Skipper Uses Big, Big “D” In Accosting President

On Sunday a familiar pageant proceeded out of Edgartown harbor, making for the passage between Chappaquiddick Point and the town wharf, as some of the smaller yachts, spinnakers set, engaged in the usual races. The matter of protocol on these occassions is taken much to heart, especially by the younger participants.
Intruding upon the single-mindedness of the skippers, and upon the efficiency of their spinnakers, was a cruiser which started out from the town wharf. These things do happen even on Sunday and in well-regulated harbors. In this case, of course, the passage was narrow.
One young skipper, leaning forward with gusto, yelled, “Damn you, what do you mean, barging into our race?”
He didn’t know until later that the object of his wrath was the President of the United States. Now he has the makings of a story to tell his grandchildren on long winter nights.