Fish Tales

From the Gazette editions of October, 1908:

“Did you ever hear about the fish that was cut in two, away back, and has been cut in two ever since?” asked the etymologist as he passed the fish market and saw the fishmonger pouring a barrelful of porgies into a tank of ice. “Those fish used to be called ‘scuppaugs’ by the Indians, and the natural human tendency to shorten things cut the word in two. Now the Jerseyman and the Rhode Islander call them ‘scup,’ while the New Yorker and Connecticut folks call them ‘paugies’ or ‘porgies.’ ”

Nantucket’s automobile war is not ended, in spite of the decision of Judge Sherman in the Supreme Court that the selectmen’s regulation was illegal. The board has since held a meeting and passed a new order, which does not exclude automobiles from the entire island, but from “particular roads or ways” upon which point the selectmen were in error in the recent case.

This new regulation prevents the passage of automobiles over the only roadways leading from the steamboat wharf, and cuts off any possible chances of an automobile reaching the village of ’Sconset, as the streets named are the principal streets of the town.

It is probable a protest against the same will be filed with the State highway commission at an early date, which will result in a renewal of the controversy. The automobilists say they will not give up the fight. They won out by the recent decision of the Supreme Court, and intend to protest against the new regulations of the selectmen.

Cottagers are arriving daily to close their summer residences and those who have been spending the past month are leaving gradually for their winter homes. There is one redeeming feature which may make for the benefit of the town: the Island House is to remain open the year through.

This will make it much more pleasant for the travelling public who come this way during the winter and cottagers will be likely to come here earlier if there is a hotel open where they can stop while putting their cottages in order for the summer.

The situation in the politics of the State must appeal with particular force to the young man who is casting his vote for the first time this year. If he is a man true to his State and true to himself he will ponder as to which party he will affiliate with in order that he may do his State the most good and at the same time be exercising the best judgment of a new voter.

The late Governor George Robinson when on the stump used to address an exceptionally powerful argument to the young or first voters along these lines:

“Young men, you who are about to cast your first vote and may be hesitating with which political party to ally yourselves, should remember this: You will not always find everything just to your liking in either organization. You will discover that there are some rascals in both parties. You should decide which party on the whole is most in accord with your ideas, and having decided, join this party and stick to it.” With the recent spectacle before the eyes of the young voters of the State, these words are particularly timely.

The young man should array himself with the forces of order and dignity.

John L. Tilton of Chilmark was in Edgartown this week on his annual visit. Everybody knows “John Lawrence.” The younger set have for years heard tales told of his great skill with his “dukes,” and how years ago, for a studied discourtesy, he “put out of business” one after another of four of Boston’s toughest South Cove toughs.

But under that broad and brawny breast beats a kindly heart, and he is familiarly called “John Lawrence” by hundreds from Gay Head to Menada Creek. John is making a tour of the Island, and left here for Oak Bluffs on the 8 a.m. stage yesterday morning

Mr. Edward D. Chadwick, of Main street, sawed and split one cord of oak wood during the past week, not bad for one in his 93rd year, and far more than the most of us sawed and split, and only about one-half as old.

Deacon Charles Mayhew recently took a ride along the coves of the Great Pond and while tarrying a little at Job’s Neck, was of service to Mr. Flynn, the present proprietor of the Neck, in recapturing one of the latter’s horses which had strayed.

Grateful for the Deacon’s service, and learning that he had been an ardent gunner, Mr. Flynn extended an invitation to shoot at Job’s neck.

During the past week the gunner’s thoughts turned to ducks and in spite of his 80 and more years, he betook himself early to Job’s Neck where he shot four ducks and the next day four more.

Eight ducks at 82, at daylight three miles from a warm bed is a record not many octogenarians can equal.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner