October Arrives

From Vineyard Gazette editions of October, 1958:

The seasons are as important to Martha’s Vineyard as the index of steel prices or the call money rate are to industry, and we suppose therefore that a salute to newly-arrived October is in order. The fact is, though, that October salutes itself. No booming gun or display of bunting would better celebrate the advent of this tenth month of the year than the vigorous chill of a starry night, the quick golden warmth of the morning sun, and the spirit of the countryside as manifested by waving fields of russet grass, signs of red among the maple leaves, aromatic fragrance in every wooded spot.

It is expected that Governor Furcolo will afix his signature to a bill requiring that official meetings be open to the press. The bill, which was enacted by the legislature, applies to all governmental agencies except those of a judicial or quasi-judicial nature, or authorities. A bill for this same purpose failed of passage last year. Both Robert Mooney of Nantucket and Joseph Sylvia of the Vineyard voted against this year’s bill. Under the provisions of this bill, all meetings of every county board and commission, of every district, city and town boards and school committee “shall be open to the public and to the press unless such board, commission or committee shall vote to go into executive session.” The bill also requires that twenty-four hours notice must be posted for all meetings of public boards, except in an emergency.

Jim Ciciora, private pilot, recently flew his Super-Cruiser from Katama Airpark back home to Indiana for a visit to his folks. Jim completed the trip in one day despite encountering head winds and poor visibility en route. While on his flying vacation he traded airplanes and returned home with a Luscombe Silvaire which has long been a favorite airplane at Katama.

George T. Silva was reappointed Chappaquiddick ferryman for a term of five years, at the meeting of the county commissioners. Mr. Silva first became ferryman in 1954, and under his administration the operation has won general approval. The ferry is governed by state law, and the ferryman must be named and his rates approved by the county commissioners. The ferry route is short, but the requirements are by no means simple. Chappaquiddick residents and summer residents have the reputation of being strong individualists with tribal customs and island pride that brook no interruption. To win the support of Chappaquiddick represents quite an accomplishment. Mr. Silva is harbor master of Edgartown and a wharf contractor.

Red, green, yellow and blue hula hoops — the greatest thing in the way of fads since the coonskin cap swept the nation when Davy Crockett was elevated to the position of a demigod — twirled madly on the grounds of the War Veterans Memorial Park in Vineyard Haven. There were more than 200 hula hoopers entered in the contest, and when they were all twirling at once, it was quite a spectacle to behold. There were all sorts of styles and techniques, but five-year-old Dianne Ferreira, whose method was scientific in the extreme, sustained motion perfectly for the better part of an hour.

A brush fire deliberately set on the so-called back road to the dump from the West Tisbury road to Edgartown was quickly put out by members of the Edgartown Fire Department before the blaze had firmly taken hold. The quick work was due largely to the early discovery of the fire, which would have gone on for quite a while in the isolated area. The discoverers were Patsy Scott and Billy Black, who happened to be riding horseback on the seldom-used sand road. Patsy was on her own Blondie and Billy on W.W. Pinney’s Groucho. When they spotted the fire, they galloped back to the nearest occupied residence and had the alarm turned in.

Word came last weekend that the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution had established a station at Gay Head and was proceeding to measure the air, which, incidentally was said to be the purest air in the world. It seems that Dr. Frank Leahy, Vineyard summer resident, is doing the measuring and the purpose actually has to do with carbon dioxide. Ever since the beginning of the industrial epoch, mankind has been releasing more and more carbon dioxide into the air. Some grounds exist to believe that this helps account for the warmer period in which we are living, and one may even imagine the earth being turned into a gigantic hothouse.

But nobody knows how much carbon dioxide there is in the air, or how to understand the marked variations, and nobody knows just how well the ocean is absorbing carbon dioxide. As part of the International Geophysical Year measurements are being made. The findings will be correlated with those from other places.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner