From the June 29, 1962 edition of the Vineyard Gazette: 

In the midst of the Vineyard’s summer population is a man who may well be the next attorney general of Massachusetts, although to see him in the yard of his Oak Bluffs home, one would never guess it. There, less than a week after winning the endorsement of the Republican state convention on June 16, Edward W. Brooke was host to a weekend gathering of friends and political advisors.

The first view this reporter had was through a number of high hedges on to a deep green lawn, where half a dozen people were sitting around a table shaded by an umbrella. Most of the men and women were in short pants and a short-sleeved shirt, a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other.

Expecting a rather formal affair, this visitor was quite surprised and his immediate thought was to take off his coat and tie in a hurry. Since all of the people on the other side of the shrubbery were beginning to notice the strangely-dressed invader, he quickly moved on and found the entrance leading to the house. The early 1900 dwelling presented a problem — which of the two doors to try. After knocking unsuccessfully at the more logical one, the visitor went to the door leading through a small hallway to the pantry and kitchen.

The informal feeling was quickly reestablished as Mr. Brooke’s father answered the knock and gave the total stranger a warm welcome, while a record played in the back. Inside were six or eight people, including Mr. Brooke’s mother, sitting around in small groups of two or three, no one doing anything in particular. Before the introductions were half-way through, the “stranger” had been offered everything from potato chips to a hot dog to any of four or five beverages.

After a while the reporter was introduced to his main topic, Mr. Brooke. The host, too, was informally attired. He made a favorable impression with his firm handshake, his smile, and his steady eyes which did not leave those of the new acquaintance in the several minutes during which the two chatted before going outside.

The fact that these were down-to-earth people was established during introductions on the lawn, where one individual complained because the Oak Bluffs tennis courts would not open until 4 in the afternoon.

A guided tour was the next event on the visitor’s agenda. The main house is spacious and pretty and would have made a fine club, as Mr. Brooke had intended in 1959. The Vineyard’s only real ballroom is in the annex behind the main house; above the ballroom are more guest rooms, each of a different color. With its red room, its blue room, its green, room, and the others, Mr. Brooke’s house is reminiscent in that way of the White House.

Once back with the others on the lawn, Mr. Brooke declined the last available chair and quickly was on the ground, explaining, “This is where I like to sit.” Before long however, he and his wife, Remigia, were up trying to make the numerous guests more comfortable, more at home.

The informality continued with joking and far-from-serious talk. The atmosphere was so relaxed that no one would have foreseen anything but a pleasant afternoon of sheer enjoyment ahead.

But within a few minutes all the friends and advisors had stopped playing and gotten down to brass tacks. Two stands were brought outside. On one was a map of Massachusetts that indicated the areas which Mr. Brooke would have to concentrate his fall efforts and those in which he polled well in his losing fight for secretary of state in 1960. On the other was a fairly detailed skeleton chart of the organization that will be employed in the attempt to win the upcoming election for attorney general. Everything and everyone became serious.

The candidate faces a possible Republican primary against Elliot L. Richardson, a Bostonian who came within one vote of the 855 needed for the convention’s endorsement. Mr. Brooke’s advisors, confident of a primary victory should Mr. Richardson decide to run, are looking forward to November with anticipation.

The only time during that whole afternoon planning conference that Mr. Brooke so much as cracked a smile was when his daughters, Remi Cynthia and Edwina Helen, returned from a long bicycle ride over the Vineyard roads. The warm expression on his face lasted for only a moment, and he was again the serious politician.

The Vineyard will be his weekend headquarters throughout the summer. He will hold conferences and weekend sessions similar to this one on the Island until his every minute has to go into the campaign. This weekend he came to ease the tensions of a hair-raising convention and successful attempt to win the delegates’ vote.

Next to his family, the candidate, who has a jovial demeanor except when he talks politics, loves Martha’s Vineyard. “Taking that ferry over here,” he said, “is just like going to Europe.” After a pause, he continued, “I love it here. I come here for relaxation and inspiration. I love to put on these khakis and dirty white shoes . . . and get outside.”

Compiled by Hilary Wall