From the Nov. 25, 1927 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

As the result of a disastrous head-on collision between Stanley Poole and William Tilton which occurred on Creek hill on a recent foggy night, the inhabitants of the locality are advocating the enactment of a special ordinance which will compel all persons moving abroad at night or in thick weather to carry sidelights and fog horns.

In this unusual collision, both parties were painfully injured, their injuries being of a sort that temporarily disfigured their normally attractive countenances, besides endangering their eyesight, and the people round about are awaking to a realization of a danger which has hitherto been ignored.

On the night of the collision it was very dark and foggy with a fresh breeze from about NNE blowing. William Tilton, returning to his home from the store of Carl Reed, was ascending Creek hill by the narrow trail along the edge of the cliff, his head lowered and his limbs working lustily as he bucked the strong head wind.

Poole, on the other hand, was bound in the opposite direction, running five points free with everything drawing and making at least twelve knots. His head, too, was bowed.

Without a split second’s warning, the two heavy, rapidly moving fishermen struck head-on with a fearful impact that stretched them both out on the ground as stiff as marlinspikes where they lay half-conscious and gasping for breath for several minutes. Recovering after a time, they limped home under jury rig and began to make repairs, but the marks of the encounter remained for days. Poole had a black eye that covered so much of his face that he looked as if he was wearing a mask, and Tilton had an eye, not quite so black, and had a piece of scalp torn adrift, large enough to make a tobacco pouch.

Tilton, grieving over his injuries, declared that Poole had no business to be running down wind at that speed in thick weather without showing lights, while Poole, defending his action, stated emphatically that Tilton came under the classification of steam and motor craft being bound dead to windward and that he should have yielded the right of way. Not only that, Poole contended that had Tilton sounded any signal or otherwise given warning of his presence, the collision could have been easily avoided. While expressing his thankfulness that there was no loss of life, Poole has been inclined to show more or less pride in his newly-won reputation of being the only known man who has knocked Bill Tilton down and lived to tell the tale.

Other residents of Creek hill express deep concern over the matter, applying the reasoning of experienced seafarers to this unparalleled situation and stating their belief that in this particular sector of the coast, certain sections of the maritime laws should be amended so as to be applicable to land traffic within a certain distance of the salt water.

The carrying of sidelights and fog whistles has been mentioned, as have also the buoying of the path up Creek hill, gas and bell buoys being the preferred types for this purpose. The sounding of one long blast of the whistle before climbing over the gap in the wall and again at the corner of Frank Tilton’s yard is advocated.

It is not thought necessary to compel persons who are standing still to ring a fog bell, but all persons have been informally warned not to linger or loaf in any of the paths or roads after dark or in foggy weather and it is confidentially prophesied that the well dressed Menemsha pedestrian of next year will carry all the required equipment of a motor boat with the possible exception of the mooring signal and fire extinguisher.

Late November, and the signs of winter are as scarce as herring in a busted seine. We’ll get it, naturally, in the long run, and it is a long run before spring will heave in sight again, but the way that summer is hanging on beats anything that has happened since Noah laid the first keel.

The fall fishing is extra good and this last week has been no exception. The greatest trouble through the week was with the market. All hands say the weather is too warm and that fish don’t keep as well as they are generally expected to at this season of the year. At that, the boys are cleaning up a whole lot better than they did a year ago this time, which shows that there are a whole lot more fish of all kinds.

They brought in one whale of a jag of cod last week; filled Sam full to the coamings before Wednesday. These all came from around Nomans. Even Ed Dalen fished well inshore of his usual ledge, and it’s a darned funning thing. On Friday a big schooner came into Woods Hole and reported that they had scraped the bottom with a fine-toothed comb from Seaconnet Rocks to Cox’s Ledge and hadn’t found a cod! Seems like the boys from the Bight must spit on their bait. Coming back to our warm weather talk, the record for late trap fishing has been boosted another week and fishing good for this time of year. Not at all bad for Thanksgiving time.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox