Where Are The Goats?

From Gazette editions of August, 1959:

Capt. Judah Nickerson of Dennisport, master of the Hyannis excursion boat Kateri-tek, died at the wheel of his vessel in the Sound yesterday, as he was returning to Hyannis with fifty passengers. The 140-foot vessel was taken in charge by Jeff Chicoine, a 17-year-old deckhand, who brought the boat back to Oak Bluffs and docked her at Bergeron’s Pier with the aid of another youth, John Sandford, on deck, and the engineer, Ted Gelinas Jr. The vessel carried but three men besides the master. Young Chicoine discovered that the master had collapsed when he observed that the vessel was heading in the wrong direction when about a mile offshore from the Oak Bluffs jetties. He was engaged in his duties about the deck at the time, and went to the wheelhouse, where he found the captain unconscious. Although the size of the vessel was formidable and a strong breeze was blowing with a consequently heavy sea running off Oak Bluffs, he did not hesitate to take command, and many observers complimented him on the way he brought her in and docked. The youth said, “I prayed all the time.” The owner of the boatline, Theodore Gelinas, was in Oak Bluffs and took charge of the vessel on her second departure from Oak Bluffs.

The Kateri-tek is one of the diesel-powered converted Coast Guard cutters which have been bringing excursionists from Hyannis to the Vineyard for the past few years. She is an able but large vessel for maneuvering in a basin as small as that of Oak Bluffs, and the feat of young Chicoine in taking over and making a ship-shape landing is wholly worthy of the Cape Cod seafaring tradition.

It would be a wondrous state of affairs if American civilization had reached the point of advancement wherein it would not be necessary to call attention to the fact that the Menemsha Players’ production of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes was an interracial affair. But since the production was in the nature of an experiment whose foundation was a mixture of races, commentary becomes necessary. It was the intention of the players and their director to show that a play whose theme and action is not dependent upon specified racial types, can be acted effectively without respect to racial backgrounds.

It is difficult to imagine a more difficult play to illustrate this point than Miss Hellman’s story of a family of middle class, Southern whites ready to devour anyone in their way, including each other, in order to gain their greedy ends. That the play was brought off convincingly calls for a twofold tribute. First credit should be given to the universality of Miss Hellman’s message. And then credit should be given to the director and players who ably underlined that universality.

Harold Berman of Lagoon Heights, a Harvard University professor of Soviet law, is acting on behalf of A. Conan Doyle Jr. Mr. Doyle seeks to recover royalty claims in the hundreds of thousands from Russia on the sale of the one and only Sherlock Holmes works. The professor was in Russia to present the claims of Mr. Doyle before the Soviet Supreme Court. He is suing three different publishers who have pirated the work of Sherlock Holmes to their vast enrichment. And since Russia has no copyright law, Mr. Berman is suing under a clause in the laws of that land which forbids “unjust enrichment” — that is the unjust profit of one person from the work of another.

For the second time in Island history, an Islander has been appointed to an executive position in the Division of Marine Fisheries, state Department of Natural Resources. George Carey Matthiessen of Edgartown has been named assistant director of the state division and marine biologist. Dr. Matthiesen has just received his doctor’s degree from Harvard, where his thesis on the softshell clam attracted widespread attention. His appointment has been received with enthusiasm by all connected with the division. At the Island lobster hatchery and laboratory, John T. Hughes, superintendent and biologist, expressed a high degree of satisfaction: In addition to having an Island man in such a position, Dr. Matthiessen’s deep interest in the work makes him a highly desirable addition to the executive staff. He has been making a study of shellfish in the ponds of the Vineyard.

Two fairgoers were looking over the cattle show yesterday, and one of them happened to comment on the fact that there were only two goats exhibited. “There used to be a lot of goats on the Island,” she said. She was overheard by Craig Kingsbury, animal husbandryman and junior sage of Tisbury, who offered the following explanation: “Well,” said Craig, “the intelligence of this country is dropping all the time. To raise goats you have to be smarter than they are and that eliminates 45 per cent of the population right there. If you had more people raising goats, you’d have goats in the houses and people in the barns!”

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner