M enemsha was all hunkered down
’Twas quiet like all Chilmark town
In winter when it’s cold — and snow
Is falling as all folk do know
And Dutcher Dock is still — except
For Scott McDowell who’s so deft
At making copper fish to sell
For he must pound and tap as well
To make his fish come out just right.
His cod and sole are quite a sight.
Few boats are tied up at the dock
And so it came as quite a shock
To Santa Claus to see bright lights
Agleam below him on his flight
From the North Pole to this fair isle
Of Martha’s Vineyard, and a smile
Lit up his jolly face. The miles
He’d flown with all his reindeer crew
To carry gifts to all of you
Were all forgotten when he saw
(The reindeer, too were filled with awe)
Atop Menemsha’s Coast Guard Station
(Among the finest in the nation)
White lights of Christmas shining fair
The best lights he’d seen anywhere
Up on the top and down below
Bright and shiny in the snow
They weren’t so big and all were white
But that was really quite all right.
And then there was a snowman, too
H e seemed all set to greet the few
Menemsha guests of wintertime —
A place that really is sublime
Not for the sunsets on the shore
Or for the yachts that some adore,
But for the chowder — cold or hot
That Stanley Larsen has in a pot.
Up until January it can be had
As can scallops and oysters — not so bad
For the dinner table in wintertime.
Indeed there are some who’d say it’s divine
To be able to eat such tasty fishes
That can be cooked in so many good dishes.
As St. Nick looked down upon the lights
And the jolly snowman — it seemed just right
To tell his reindeer to stop the sleigh
And to make a landing near to the quay
So he could visit and say hello;
Have a bowl of chowder — and to all below
Give out the gifts he brings each year
When he comes to the Vineyard with his deer.
S o down they swooped to the Coast Guard site
The reindeer’s landing was just right
And Santa was glad to bring good cheer
From far away to right down here
First he reached in his sleigh for a ball of fine yarn
For Linda Coito, that nursery school marm
Who loves to knit and makes beautiful things
And for Mary Greely he had earrings.
Victoria Scott got food for her puppy
While for Susan Huntington there was a guppy
To show along with gerbil Houdini
To her classes although a guppy is teeny.
Then Ted Meinelt got modeling clay
For a pottery project that will fill his day.
There were apples and oranges for Isabel West
Who really is just one of the best.
Then for Linda Hayden was a Good Dog good
While for Cary Scheller there was firewood.
And Liza Vogel got a dolphin pet,
A gift that she surely can’t forget.
For Richard Knabel was a cat in a hat
Though of course he needs neither hat nor cat.
Paul Condlin got more police in summer
When Edgartown is really a bummer.
For the Athearn farm there was plenty of rain
To assure there’ll be fine crops once again.
John Stevens got a permit to fish on Chappy
That’s certain to make him feel quite happy.
For Tom Durawa were cabbage pierogies
While for Carl Leaf there were some stogies.
Cynthia Robinson got a Gaelic book
And there were red roses for Hurd, Took.
Jonathan Revere got more video film
Art Railton’s book was for John Helm.
Cheryl Maltais got a gavel of gold
That will help her surely to uphold
The rules and the rights of the Wampanoag tribe
Those are, of course, too much to describe.
T hen for Barbara Lampson in a bright red box
Was certainly not one more pair of socks
But a Christmas elf to help her to paint
Her new Tisbury house, while for Edey, Mait
There were candy canes and chocolates tasty
And some of the same for Runner, Hasty.
Then Leslie Stark got a musical find —
A Duke Ellington record that blew his mind.
Long lost it had been and suddenly found,
While for Dick Burt there was a mound
Of arrowheads for him to search through,
While Cameron Ganser got a dress of blue
As did Olive MacPhail and Violet, too.
And Kontje, Geoff got beachfront land
On South Georgia Island — ’tis surely grand
To be in the Falklands and the Vineyard, too,
And for Tim Maley was more bamboo.
Then Denny Rose got free winnings at poker
And Lynie Bernardin a rhinestone choker.
For Robert Potts there was a thesaurus
And for Beth Kramer was a book of Horace
For spare time reading when the library’s still
In West Tisbury town. Then a daffodil
Was in Santa’s sack for Priscilla Fischer
And all good things did Santa wish her.
C aroline Jane Walsh got water wings
And Buzzy Hall, who so beautifully sings,
Kudos for the operas at the Capawock
While for the alpacas in her flock
Barbara Ronchetti got a new fence
(To repel vandals — that makes sense.)
For Gretchen Feldman there were more barn owls
While Ila Briggs Halby got some pretty towels.
And Mary Tucker got a bracelet of gold.
She likes things shiny Santa had been told.
Then Cochin, Beckett got Red Sox tickets
While for Edie Blake there were croquet wickets
Since she so much enjoys the game
And is so good when she takes aim.
For Sharon Rzemian’s Karma and Jack
And Nicole Alley’s puppy black
Were dog bones, tasty, that they could chew on
And then there was for Rappaport, Ron
A bicycle light for midnight rides
Just to make sure that when the tides
Are high, he doesn’t miss his way
And end up in the ocean’s spray
At Stonewall Beach when it’s icy and cold
Since as a cyclist he is so bold
And travels here and travels there.
A nd then there was for Ricky Behr
More steady winds for his balloons
While Emily Day got silver spoons
Since she’s a bride and needs such things
While for Gail Tipton who bell rings
Was a chamois for polishing them till they shine
So that in church they will look just fine.
For Pam Lindgren there were gloves of white
That fit her perfectly and look just right
In case she meets again with the Queen
Whom she does hold in great esteem
Whom she saw on a trip she took abroad
And by whom she was just overawed.
Mev Good got a briefcase for all his work
When he goes to the high school — he never shirks
In his talks about history and the past
He is so much an enthusiast.
And then Bob Franklin got an ivory cane
So he can soon walk with ease again.
While for Bob Hughes there was a great find
(It really was just one of a kind.)
Santa had found on his travels away
That a heath hen still lived with eggs to lay
So he had some in a velvet pouch
(About such things Santa is no slouch.)
They’d been nestled with care so they wouldn’t break
And Santa was sure that they weren’t fake.
So now on the Vineyard once again
There should be a nest of fat heath hen
S tuart Bangs got all good wishes
And Betsy Cabana for her fine dishes
Clams and scallops from the Lagoon
And then there was for that Curme, June
An Australian joey to bring home
To Minnesota where it can roam
As happily as in Brisbane.
Then Peggy Freydberg got a candy cane
While Cynthia Robinson got a new Subaru.
The old one just would no longer do.
There were Chilmark Chocolates for Bob Potter
While Leah Smith’s very first granddaughter —
Nova Aster — got a leprechaun
To which she should, of course, be drawn
With a father who comes from the Emerald Isle
While for Madeleine Tully who likes style
Was a taffeta dress with buttons pink;
More books to read for Hansen, Linc
When he goes to Windemere on visits.
A star of real gold for Tobin, Bridget
To mount on the top of her Christmas tree
From all those folk who do agree
She’s the Steamship Authority’s best employee.
D ave Belcher departing for Florida climes
Got a garden of oranges, lemons and limes
At his new dwelling — and best of luck
While Michael Black got Peking duck
To remind him of his China trip,
And then there was for Harrington, Flip
The rarest of birds to keep him happy
While for Eric Sundin over on Chappy
Were the grandest of sunsets for his pix
Mary Rose Morano got Pick-up-Stix
To play with when there are days of rain
While Charlie Jr. got an electric train.
Alec Gale got bass aplenty
So the Deborah Lee will never be empty
When she makes her runs to the Whaling City.
Mark Alan Lovewell got a new seaman’s ditty
To play and to sing as he likes to do
And then there was for Jim LeRoux
All sorts of building stuff to do.
For Jack Hathaway was a trip to Chile
And Dianne Powers got a new filly.
P hil daRosa got a new guitar
To take with him if he travels far
On trips to play in foreign climes.
For Gloria Levitas were wind chimes.
There were Will Parry windows for Trip Barnes
For his new house — they will give it charm.
Then Nat Mincone got a win over Bourne.
In the New Year now he won’t be forlorn.
Jan Hatchard got an Italian villa
And Laura Silber a supply of vanilla.
For Susan Strain and for Bruce Starr
There was a trip to Zanzibar.
Whit Hanschka got some horses to shoe
And for Bob Ganz was a ribbon blue
He got one in the summer, too,
For the produce he grows on his Chilmark land.
He really does have a green hand.
And for Ted Burnham was a ribbon, too,
For all the tomatoes he grows and grew.
Eleanor Mitchell got new boule balls
While for A’Bell Washburn came gifts to PAWS.
For Carol Forgione’s brand new boat,
About which she should certainly gloat,
There were fittings of brass to make her happy
And then there were for McCarthy, Taffy
Plays aplenty for her to stage
Since Island theatre is the rage
Though high school officials are cutting back
On music and drama — alas, alack
N ow the reindeer were pawing a bit in the sand
And wishing that Santa hadn’t asked them to land
Where there was so little for reindeer to munch
There was only some seaweed on which they could crunch.
But the sleigh on its runners was emptying out.
However, St. Nick, with the mightiest shout,
Remembered he had a whole sackful of greetings
To give to Mike Halt now that he’s back to meetings
At the school in West Tisbury after Iraq
For parents are glad that he’s tending the flock
Of schoolchildren there. And wishes came, too,
Indeed there were more than just a few
For Duncan McMullen who’s back from the war
Having finished his time at that terrible chore.
A bag of fair winds was in Santa’s pack
For Benjamin, Pam and Benjamin, Nat
When they sail their new boat wherever they choose
On this or on that most inviting cruise.
And fair winds and seas for Stackpole, Matt
Were also in with this and that
In Santa’s sack of Christmas gifts
(They always move about and shift
So winds and ivy and bric-a-brac
Are all mixed up inside his pack.)
Garrett Orazem got camping gear
For his adventures far and near.
And Kirchmeier, Ruth a woodcutting tool
And then there was for Ginny Poole
A gourmet chef to feed her grandly
(The present one is certainly handy
But the dishes he makes are not jim-dandy.
So the chef says, and he should know
Since he eats them, too, and calls them so-so.)
Tamara Buchwald got a new tennis racket
And for Faith Runner was a warm winter jacket.
Dr. John Lamb got fish in his pond
And Dr. Butera, while he’s still around
Fine wines and fine coffee since both he enjoys.
And there were best wishes for Alfred Noyes.
For Bob and Lynn Gatchell were more Christmas lights
(Though the ones they have now are a most festive sight,)
T he Russell Hoxsies got symphony tickets,
And the Peter Nessens a lot of thickets
To keep headlights out of their pretty house.
Then Lisa Shanor got a pet mouse.
There was moustache wax for Alley, Jim
Now that a beard is part of him.
Then Richard Skidmore for the Gay Head Light
Got scores of visitors to that site
For Eleanor Pearlson was holly and ivy
Since she’s a lady who’s really jivey.
Helen Manning got some too
And Polly Murphy delphiniums blue.
Joan Jenkinson got doggie treats
To feed to the animals she meets
And Bailey Norton sugar plums
While for Jane Slater there were mums
To brighten her life while she’s at home.
Then courtside seats at Wimbledon
Were in the pack for Paul Pertile
Who likes to see his tennis in style.
Ralph Case received a Patriot’s hat
And then John Walter got a cat.
While Evelyn O’Brien got sunny days
In Sarasota so she can laze
About outdoors since it’s so warm.
And where there is a certain charm
It’s not Wisconsin with cows and hills,
But certainly it fills the bill.
T he restless reindeer stamped their hooves
They knew that there were still many roofs
Across the country where they must stop
And chimneys down which St. Nick must drop
Candy and oranges and stuffed bears
(Not made in China, best beware.)
So St. Nicholas waved to the Coast Guard crew
And then, of course, to the rest of you
Vineyarders whom he likes to see
At Christmas time. Then he thought of Rie
McLean and of her spouse, Pete
For them he had a gift quite neat
A pair of tickets across the sea
Wherever Rie might like to be.
Then St. Nicholas joined his reindeer crew
And shouting best wishes to you and you
He rose again into the sky
And with his reindeer then did fly.