Every week I have a few moments of angst concerning writing material but have never been one to experience a loss of words for very long.

Three times (Feb. 16, May 18 and July 27), I mentioned the Vineyard Haven post office in a complimentary way. Today, not so much. The pyracantha on the building (home to a host of little birds) is in serious neglect. Trash is literally around its roots and it is hacked around the windows in an unflattering manner. The whiskey barrels have leftover stubble from summer and about an inch of cigarette-butt mulch. What a pity that visitors get off the ferry and see their government grounds in disrepair. Other businesses in town have Christmas greens still looking good in the window boxes.

I spoke to Wendy Andrews. She told me her grandmother wrote a daily column for the New Bedford Standard-Times. She used to go to the ferry landing and write about who was coming and going. Apparently, some were disgruntled to have their whereabouts discussed in print.

It reminded me of Francis Duarte. He lived on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road with his rosy-cheeked wife. They had a cow that he walked across the road every day to a skinny pasture next to the electric company along Winyah Lane. He had a sign on the pasture gate reading, No Standard-Times Photos. I loved that.

If everyone bought just one roll of recycled toilet paper, the lives of 426,000 trees would be saved.

I was privileged to attend the Island Grown Initiative’s second annual Farmer’s Dinner cooked by Slow Feed Martha’s Vineyard. The menu, as follows, was prepared from foods grown by local growers. That’s right, the dead of winter and still eating locally. Cool!

Offerings included:

Deviled Island Eggs

Stannard Farm Ham Biscuits

Rickard Bread and Vermont Butter

Morning Glory Farm Butternut Squash Balls

Chilmark Bloomy Rind Cheese — Jan Burman

Allen Farm Beef Stew with Mermaid Farm Carrots and Susan Silva’s Tomato Base

FARM Institute Turkeys

Whippoorwill Farm Butternut Squash along with Rick Karney’s Hubbard

Morning Glory Farm Roasted Red Potatoes

Island Watercress salad with Olivia’s Greens and Jan Burman’s Beets, Catelyn Jones’s Shallots

Elizabeth Germain’s thyme

Mermaid Farm Vegan Carrot Soup (Rebecca Miller’s recipe)

Bruce Haynes’s Venison and Island-Walking-Around-Three-Days-Ago-Pork Chili (Janice Haynes)

Rhode Island Corn Meal Bread

Lagoon Salt (Patrick Best)

Scottish Bakehouse Cookies

New England Cider and Katama Honey for the tea.

Since last Monday was the observation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I listened to his Beyond Vietnam speech given at Riverside Church in New York city on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination. I mentioned it in a previous column but it bears repeating.

Everyone is familiar with his I Have a Dream speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. It was, however, not his most important nor courageous speech.

In Beyond Vietnam, his political maturity is evident as well as his understanding of class and foreign policy. If any of you would like a copy of the compact disc or a transcript, call 1-800-444-1977 or go to

A few weeks ago, I threatened to share a few bumper stickers. I am making good on that promise:

A clear conscience is nothing more than a poor memory.

I started with nothing and have most of it left.

If you are doing nothing, how do you know if you’re done?

Spandex — A privilege, not a right.