One More Slice

From the Vineyard Gazette editions of September, 1933:

A subscriber brings up once more the old question of the proper way and manner of eating pie, whether it is the polite and precise thing to separate the first mouthful from the point, or to excavate a segment of the crust as a starter. The argument has been carried on at great length at various times, some claiming that the point of a cut of the pie is the most delicious morsel, and this should be reserved for the last, while others have been equally certain that the opposite course should be followed in the event that the appetite should become satisfied before the wedge of pie is finished, when the crust alone would be left.

Several things appear to have been left unexplained to date. Others have not figured in the many discussions. It really does not seem to be the rule that any real New Englander will leave even a mouthful of pie on his plate. Even the rankest outlander is seldom observed to leave the point of a wedge of pie.

It also occurs to some that the custom of cutting pie is distinctly modern, arriving with the decline of the natural abilities of Yankees as trenchermen. If the proper and original manner of eating pie is to be resurrected and practiced, pies would be served whole, one to each diner. Just how one should attack a whole pie might present another problem. But to return to the common wedge, many elderly Vineyard people cut their wedge of pie in two and lift each narrow section to the mouth with the fingers, biting off a mouthful at a time. This custom belongs with the day of cup-plates and saucer-blowing: while authority on pie eating may be lacking, those matters were once listed as proper table etiquette. Perhaps someone may offer information that will shed further light on the proper procedure in absorbing pie.

The slot machines taken at the recent raid on the Martha’s Vineyard Country Club were forfeited yesterday in district court, and Corporal Robert Ferrari of the state police proceeded to destroy them. The destruction was accomplished with an axe in the presence of Probation Officer Hosea S. Look and County Treasurer H. N. Hinckley. The machines contained $48.60 which was turned over to the county treasury.

Miss Elizabeth Litchfield of New York and Edgartown was thrown out of the rumble seat of the Chrysler cabriolet driven by her father, Electus D. Litchfield, when the machine was struck by a Ford beach wagon driven by Miss Elise Labourie of West Chop. The front end of the beach wagon suffered from the impact, and a crumpled left fender and running board were the damages sustained by the Litchefield car. Miss Litchfield, who fainted after the accident, suffered bruises from being thrown out. Chief of Police James Geddis and Inspector Harry Webb investigated the accident.

Reconstruction of the Lagoon bridge may be the project in Dukes County for which federal funds will be available under the national public works program. This seemed likely following the visit of Frank E. Lyman, state commissioner of public works, to the Island. Approval of the state department is one of the important factors in obtaining a federal grant. The bridge project was brought before a hearing Friday: the possibility of changing the grade so that the bridge will give more clearance over the water was discussed. Mr. Lyman said it would be out of the question to raise the road to the level of the top of the sea wall, but indicated that some alteration could be made. With the state and federal funds which may be available, it is not unlikely that the county may be able to get a new bridge at small cost to the county.

Town and county honored Rev. Oscar E. Denniston, pastor of Bradley Memorial church, at the celebration of the thirty-second anniversary of his pastorate. The church auditorium was filled with members of the congregation and their guests. With every speaker on the platform a Caucasian, and more than half of the audience of the same race, the scene of sincere tribute to a Negro pastor of a Negro church was singularly impressive. Every speaker referred feelingly to the vast amount of community work performed by him, and to his broad power for achieving good on the Island. All spoke with respect of the success of this pastor who has organized and built a church, maintained it and maintained himself and his family as well, with no salary, and in the beginning of his career no support save his own lofty ideals, sublime faith and physical strength.

Following the sudden harvesting of thousands of ragweed plants by Edgartown school children, in a campaign sponsored by the Garden Club, a halt had to be called on the tidal wave. Everywhere the children were bringing in ragweed, and everywhere it seems to be a question of keeping school or tallying the catch of ragweed. To do both was impossible. One Edgartown boy, F. Hudson Worden Jr., had a haul of ragweed exceeding 1,000 plants before the count had to be stopped.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner