As I knew Lenny Jason he was a working man’s man, a man of strong opinions which he aired freely to anyone who would listen. He always had the working man in mind and especially the fisherman. I remember when Lenny first came to the Island to Menemsha, a town he loved, and made it his home. Lenny was the most ambitious man I knew of. He bought a couple of old hotels in Oak Bluffs that were for sale and to be removed. After a day spent on the fishing grounds, he would go to Oak Bluffs and take the hotels apart, one board at a time, nails removed and stacked neatly, to be used again on his house on the North Road, property that he bought and cleared of briars and brush. A house, a garage, numerous outbuildings including a chicken house, a workshop, a stable for his boys’ horses were all built with his reclaimed lumber.
Lenny was a man of strong opinions, as I said and he did not always have full agreement of the fishermen or of the people or the know-it-alls who ran the town, but whatever he did he thought it was the best for the fishermen and he would fight to the end to defend his right to say it. Lenny was not a big person — lean, weather-beaten, built close to the ground, as he would say. He will be missed around the waterfront. Captain of the fishing vessel Little Lady, former shellfish warden, father, builder, he did it with all the energy and vigor he could muster.
Lenny, you lived a good life. Have a good trip.
Basil Welch lives in Chilmark.