From the Nov. 24, 1950 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

For some banquets the fancier items are in order, from caviar to parfaits and pastries, but Thanksgiving is signalized by such earthy and homely fixings as turnip, squash, cranberries, turkey and pie. The feast is a proper sequel to the harvest and to the work of a year, proper also for the frosty mornings and edged appetites of New England. And now we have come to the day after. The feast has been held in forthright, honest spirit, and the sense of thanksgiving remains as with our ancestors who handed on to us so much to be thankful for always. More now than ever, despite the darkness of many a prospect.

“The halcyon calm,” says the Old Farmers Almanac, referring to the period from the 20th to the 24th of November. Local residents would hate to see a real windy spell if Tuesday’s weather is a halcyon calm.

It blew, and it rained and it snowed — the first snow the Island has seen, big, wet, sticky flakes that drove before the half-gale like flying feathers. But it did not last and although the temperature dropped to the freezing point and even a few degrees below in spots, on Tuesday night, it was higher on Wednesday and promised the “warm Thanksgiving Day” predicted by the weather man.

As it turned out, the mercury dropped to the mid-twenties and Thanksgiving dawned chill and a little ominous. There was sun in the morning but clouds and cold rain toward evening. The barometer was high during the windy, cold spell of the week.

The latest bulletin concerning the gas-bugging journey between Woods Hole and Buzzards Bay concerns a downward trip early this week when, as usual, the passengers in the rude conveyance began to bounce upward on their seats. Up and down, up and down they bounced, in unison.

“Giddyap, Boy,” muttered an old-timer, and indeed the buggy seemed to respond.

Higher and higher the passengers jounced, glancing at one another curiously to see who was making the best altitude; as a matter of fact, the jounces were amazingly uniform. Everybody shot up in the air together and descended together, as if trained by a ballet director.

At this juncture, Sid Gordon of Edgartown inquired sagely, “Do you suppose this wagon has got square wheels?”

And this may be a clue to the riding qualities of the gas-buggy. In all probability it has square wheels.

Island music lovers, better than 500 strong, turned out for the all-Island concert at the Vineyard Haven school auditorium on Monday night, when nearly a hundred musicians, drawn from Island schools, presented their autumn music feature.

Listening to this program it became increasingly apparent that the pupils of the director, Rudolf Fiebich, are rapidly progressing beyond the point where a layman can properly comment upon their performance.

A new soloist, Martin Davey, performed on the trumpet, delighting his audience and further attesting to the fact that there has been no halting in the progress of the orchestra despite the necessary changes brought about by members leaving for college or other reasons. The general reaction of the audience left no doubt as to their appreciation and pleasure, and delighted as they were with the performance, their applause for the director was quite as enthusiastic. The ushers at the concert were Misses Martha Silva, Donna Duarte, Priscilla White, Jane Maciel, Beverly Campos and Jean Bettencourt, all junior class girls at the Tisbury High School. Refreshments were served to the orchestra members after the performance by the Tisbury Orchestra Association. Mrs. John Campos was in charge of the printing of the programs and Charles E. Downs made a recording of the concert.

Up to the middle of last week there had been no killing frosts over the greater part of Martha’s Vineyard, though with the ending of the long spell of mild weather, there had been a number of decorative white frosts. The discovery of that immaculate crystalline coating on grass or hedge or doorstep may be taken as notice that a threshold has been reached; the door of winter is opening, just a crack at first, and before too long, winter will come rushing in.

Meantime, it is cranberry season. Something in human nature, New England human nature at any rate, craves the tartness and astringency of cranberry sauce or jelly when November arrives and the season turns chilly. The climax comes, of course, when Thanksgiving dinner is served.

There are fewer cultivated bogs on the Vineyard than there used to be, but cranberries grow wild in many a swamp and may be had, like blueberries in summer, as a reward for those who know where to find them and care enough to take the time.

More than most other signs, they register the quality of the outdoors, the season, and the state of the human point of view. The very November dawn comes up like the red-ripe cranberry of the wild bog.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox