From Gazette editions of August, 1935:

The dividing line of the summer season has been crossed. The largest half is here, for August is traditionally the apogee of summer, the fulfillment and culmination of the collective Island vacation. The greatest vacation for the greatest number comes in August, and from a business standpoint a big August is always expected to redeem an only medium July.

One wonders how the supremacy of August became established. The first camp meetings at what is now Oak Bluffs were held in August, and the later vacation seasons at the developing resort were expanded in either direction from camp meeting week. Rusticators, as they were called in earlier years, came a few days before camp meeting week, then a week or two before, and finally many weeks before. But the emphasis from those climatic weeks of August was never shifted. Then, too, August has been the most uncomfortable month of the year in big cities. It is natural for those who can choose their times of recess from city congestion and cares to choose a part of August. One also suspects that a deciding factor has been and is that an August vacation has a certain sanction of fashion. It is “the thing.”

At any rate August brings with it the supremacy of rustification under country skies. The pulse of Island life until Labor Day will be rapid indeed.

Mike Hagopian of Worcester paid a fine of $50 in district court for possessing lottery tickets and operating a lottery. His arrest on Circuit avenue, Oak Bluffs, followed an examination of papers on his person and in his car by Sergeant Joseph Fratus and State Officer Leonard Martin.

The defendant admitted that he had worked only three or four days during the two months he has been on the Island, yet operates a car and readily procured the money to pay his fine. Hagopian, who conducted his own case after entering a plea of not guilty, explained that the paper covered with numbers that was found in his cap had been placed there because the cap was too large. Pencilled numbers found in several places in his car must have been left there by friends who jotted them down as they were called out by the operators of the nearby beano emporium, according to the defendant. According to the complainants, he sat in his parked car on Circuit avenue from 10 in the morning until midnight or later each day, disposing of the lottery slips to men who kept visiting the car.

The complainants were insistent on a substantial fine because no one on the Island had ever won a cent in the defendant’s lotteries. The case against the defendant was not airtight until he himself, in examining Sergeant Fratus, launched upon a detailed explanation of how to operate a lucrative lottery.

Napoleon first promulgated the idea that an army travels on its stomach; no one has yet uttered the truth that a summer resort travels on the picnic lunch. This is not to say that the clambake, the shore dinner, the lobster stew and fish chowder do not occupy a pivotal place in summer life. But the summer colony in motion, yacht racing, cruising and the like, does depend on easily portable viands. Behind the mobilization of yachts in a regatta stands the symbol of the sandwich, and work for a sail on an August afternoon includes preparations with slices of bread, peanut butter and deviled ham. There may be a point of saturation for mothers who have become tired of wrapping up hard boiled eggs in wax paper. The eagerness with which basket lunches were greeted in early July has long since worn off, and the foods carried in a basket are regarded with a jaundiced eye.

It is worth pointing out the extensive park system of the camp ground and the town outside. These parks, many of great beauty and others of great usefulness for athletes or as open spaces, are the fruit of what is now called town planning. The administrators of the camp meeting took care to create a “bright orderliness, a green neatness.” When Oak Bluffs was laid out as a resort, the directors of the development company took their cue from the camp meeting and were generous in the park space which they provided. Their desire to carry out the spirit of the camp ground resulted in Hartford Park, Ocean Park and all the others.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner