Pieces of the Pie
From Gazette editions of July, 1886:
Almost the last act of the state senate was to advance its pay from $650 to $750, by a vote of 16 to 15, Mr. Norris voting for the increase. It’s only a beggardly hundred but it will help pay election expenses next fall. By the way, we’re liable to need a hundred or so ourself, and would respectfully invite the honorable senator to divvy.
One of the most entertaining places of resort in Cottage City is the Carousel, the large airy building with its broadside open to the sea, the flying horses and the inspiring music proving almost equally attractive to young and old.
It is reported that Dr. Townsend — who managed to get possession of the most eligible tract in Edgartown, on the understanding that he would build a hotel on it — doesn’t go ahead with the work, in the hope that some time or other wages will be lower and the relations of labor to capital more satisfactorily adjusted. One would suppose that the doctor expected to live a hundred years longer, or that a million dollars was involved in the construction of the building which had been projected.
One of the funniest things about the masculine sojourners on the Vineyard is the way they let up on shaving. Well-dressed men with their faces all a-bristle are met on the steamboats, at the hotels and on the narrow gauge, looking as though they had set out with one accord to start a full beard for winter. How a man’s comfort at a watering place is enhanced by his going about with a week’s growth of stubble attached to his perspiring countenance is one of those things that hasn’t yet been explained.
The Cape papers are beginning to get a bit panicky over the threatened return of Senator Norris for a fourth term, and are casting about to see which of the old candidates is likely to prove most available to head off the aspiring Eastvillian in his ambitious designs. There is no question that the present senator ought to be retired — he’s had pie enough. But — to quote the senator’s own words on the occasion of his last nomination — “there’s nothing succeeds like success,” and we take this opportunity to whisper in the ears of the Cape constituency unless they bring forward something more formidable than was contained in the list of last year’s aspirants, he will have a walk-over that will hardly warm his shirt. Already it is safe to assume the Gosnold and Gay Head caucuses have been held, and the others will follow as fast as wires can be satisfactorily laid. Look alive there, gentlemen of the Cape district, or you’re left.
The Cottage City authorities, in their eagerness to repair their somewhat damaged reputation for sagacity in dealing with municipal questions, have recently developed a defensive ingenuity that some of their friends are disposed rather to deprecate than to commend. Last April Frank Wade fell into one of the Gas Company’s excavations on Pequot avenue, and ruined his coat. Making oral representations of the fact to the selectmen, he was informed that he should have a new coat to replace the one destroyed. In pursuance of this promise, the board solemnly escorted the claimant down to Harding’s and had his measure taken, repeating the operation about once a week — but each time on some pretext neglecting to order the garment — until the thirty days in which written notice must be filed had expired. Then the selectmen lost interest, and Wade hasn’t got his coat yet.
The Vineyard Skating Rink, now transformed into the Cottage City Casino, equipped with stage and scenery and furnished with comfortable seating, is likely to prove one of the most popular institutions of Cottage City. Mr. H.E. Reed, a wide-awake gentleman of proved executive ability, is the manager, and has already opened the hall with a week of comic opera.
The charge that the visitors to the Vineyard this year are an impecunious crowd is fully met and refuted by the fact that the lunch counters on the boats are doing a thriving business. None but millionaires can afford to patronize those temples of extortion.
Apropos of the existing dissatisfaction with the name of Cottage City, a writer in one of the New Bedford papers advises that it be changed to “Martha’s Vineyard.” That’s about as sensible a proposition as would be changing the name of New Bedford to Massachusetts. The fact is, if the present name is changed at all — a matter of doubtful expediency — there is but one appellation that should be substituted and that is “Oak Bluffs.” That is the name under which the place first became famous as a watering place and is the one name more familiar than all others to the travelling public.
Compiled by Cynthia Meisner