Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As owner of the building which houses the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, I would like to thank the incredible firefighters of Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown for their outstanding work during the fire at my building. I also want to thank the police department, EMTs and selectmen of Tisbury for their great work and support to the firemen and the other businesses in town. My heart goes out to Austin Racine and Katrina Yekel for their loss of their new business at Cafe Moxie. I am overwhelmed and deeply appreciative of the outpouring of sympathy and support I’ve received from the entire Island community.

Ann K. Nelson

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Before me is a Gazette picture of the Cafe Moxie and Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. A few days ago I sat on the left-sited bench outside the cafe, watching the passing parade meander along Main street. Before that I did my usual browsing inside the Bunch of Grapes. Now I wish I had purchased Peter Simon’s 2009 calendar and Bill Styron’s book of essays, Havanas in Camelot, instead of postponing that task until my return in the glorious autumn.

Reminiscing on that bench, I was swept back five years, to the evening of July 23, 2003. I was sharing a table with playwright Sally Wiener, a home-owner in Gay Head, long before that charmer was rechristened Aquinnah. We had retired to the Moxie after attending dedication ceremonies of the Lillian Hellman Drama Collection in the garden of the Vineyard Haven Public Library.

Returning to time present, my thoughts revisited the grave sites of William Styron, Art Buchwald and John Hersey I had discovered out Upper Main street way earlier in the day. The contiguity of the wounded book store and the deceased writers — whose wares I had acquired in the Grapes over the decades — no doubt was responsible for my pensive mood.

From my desk, I can see among the shelves some of the many books that, for me, began life at the Bunch of Grapes.

Dick Brunner

Emmaus, Pa.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To Tisbury and fellow Vineyard emergency medical technicians:

I speak for the town of Tisbury, Tisbury firefighters, our citizens, Main street businesses, employees and owners of the Cafe Moxie and Bunch of Grapes Book Store and our Island community as a whole, when I say thank you for your response to the Main street fire this Fourth ofJuly. The dedication you showed makes our community proud of you. You deserve it.

    I’d also like to thank Tisbury emergency managers Rich Townes and Ray Gosselin, and businesses including Stop & Shop, Mocha Mott’s, Vineyard Gourmet, Cumberland Farms and Lenny Clark (for the delicious watermelon.)

You do what you do because you care. Thank you so much.

Jeffrey Pratt

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To the person who backed their vehicle into my MG convertible Wednesday evening, July 2, at Atria restaurant in Edgartown — I hope that you read this letter and contact me. Given the amount of damage to my car, you surely must have known that you struck something on your way out of the lot; it wasn’t exactly a nick. I would like you to know two things. First, I took note of the nearby cars when I parked and second, I acquired patron information from the restaurant for that evening (the reservation list, credit card information, etc.) and have forwarded it to the Edgartown police. It might take some time but . . . it would certainly be better for you to come forward beforehand.

But what really, really bothers me about this irresponsible and unkind act is that I had only recently acquired this car, which was a classic car in mint condition before you hit it. It was a gift from my mother. She died six months ago, at an early age, of cancer. She had received the car when her mother died, at an early age, of cancer. Do you see where I am going with this? It is a very sentimental car. To come out of the restaurant and see it smashed up completely destroyed me. I am shocked that you (or someone else in your party) didn’t think the right thing to do was to leave a note. Suffice it to say that you have made a very painful situation even more heartbreaking.

Me? I would not have made the same decision that you did. No way. I classify myself somewhere between an optimist and a pessimist. My view is that the world is flawed — but capable of being improved. In other words, I believe the world tends to become better and people aid its betterment. I hope you read this and see good reason to make things better.

Caroline Derrig

Vineyard Haven

The Vineyard Gazette welcomes letters to the editor on any subject concerning Martha’s Vineyard. The newspaper strives to publish all letters as space allows, although the editor reserves the right to reject letters that in her judgment are inappropriate. Letters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact telephone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters.