A Golden Incentive

From Gazette editions of January, 1960:

Rumormongering, a pursuit that tends to be especially virulent on the Island from time to time, had a pretty good workout in Edgartown — except in this case it was benevolent rumormongering — and apparently it was done by somebody who just wanted to watch the proceedings. It all started when Grant Brothers began tearing down Sibley’s Garage to make way for the new town parking lot. The first pieces of tin had barely been knocked from the roof when somebody “remembered” that when the garage was being built a quarter century ago, the late Dr. Thomas J. Walker had placed a $50 gold piece in one of the corner stones. Sidewalk superintendents thus had an added incentive to the accomplishment of their occupation. By late afternoon, however, reason had begun to prevail and people were smiling when they asked if the gold piece had been found yet. The rumor was believed to have started in the Coffee Shop, a well known breeding ground for such.

At long last, a guidance director for the students of the Regional High School has become a reality. The school district committee elected George Metalious, who is at present on the faculty of schools of Stowe and Harvard. Guidance direction is a field that is much in demand in secondary schools today. Mr. Metalious comes to the school with high recommendations. Thirty-eight years old, he is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and is completing work on a master’s degree with emphasis on guidance work.

Whatever its other attractions may be, the Vineyard is not a center of women’s fashions. If you want to see the latest in Dior gowns, you go to New York or Paris. If you want to hike through snowy woods, you can stay right on the Island, where the ladies this season are wearing wool slacks and snow-boots. And yet the world of high fashion is very close to one Vineyarder, Grace Corson, of North Tisbury, who has managed to maintain her career in that distinctly non-Islandish field while living here among the slacks and snow-boots.

Miss Corson is a handsome woman who lives in the old house by the Crocker Pond on the North Road in the company of a French poodle. She can look back on an unusually varied career; she has been at various times an artist for Harper’s Bazaar, fashion editor of King Features Syndicate and a fashion editor. As such she has rubbed mink elbows with the high and mighty, and it is a credit to both Miss Corson and the Vineyard that she prefers the simple tastes of Island life.

While working in Paris as an artist for Ladies Home Journal, the Paris chief told her the editor wanted a French artist to do the work. So Miss Corson changed her drawing style and began signing her work “Jean Malo.” After a while, the editor became anxious to meet M. Malo. Miss Corson’s double life was revealed, but, she recalled, “The editor took it very well.”

After 27 years in Vineyard Haven, the Van Ryper shop will cease operations under that name. The business of building ship models will be carried on by the group of men now working at Van Ryper’s. Their plan is to relocate the nationally known business in Edgartown. Charles K. Van Ryper, who started the enterprise, is withdrawing from the business. The men setting up to continue the work are Eldon West, A. Freeman Leonard, Philip O. Horton and Clifford A. Dugan.

The Regional High School will be host to representatives from seven educational institutions, in what will be the school’s first annual college day program, aimed at assisting students to investigate a variety of schools. Among the schools to be represented are Bridgewater State Teachers College, Stonehill College, Fisher Junior College, Catherine Laboure School of Nursing, Mass. General Hospital School of Nursing, Wilfrid Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture, and Mansfield Beauty Academy.

Amos Smalley, Gay Head whaleman, who has been immortalized as the harpooner who killed “Moby Dick,” the white whale, may have been doubted by some who have heard and read his story, but the proof of the incident comes to light in a totally unexpected manner. Mr. Smalley, as boatsteerer of the whaling barque Platina of New Bedford was cruising in the North Atlantic when he killed the whale. His captain was Thomas MacKenzie.

In a recent letter to Mr. Smalley, Frank MacKenzie, son of his former captain, quotes from the ship’s log, which he possesses, and gives the bearing in which the whale was killed. “It is Latiitude 35 North, Longitude 53 East.” The entire entry corroborates Mr. Smalley and furnishes further proof that his narrative was true. “They can’t call it a yarn any longer,” declared the veteran whale-killer.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner