The Vineyard Gazette from Nov. 5, 1937, my birthday edition paper, was great fun to read and I was amazed at how many people and places I can recall.
As I flipped through the paper a large advertisement caught my attention. The Playhouse in Edgartown was showing three movies, including Live, Love and Learn starring Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell. The Capawock in Vineyard Haven was also showing three movies, one with Hopalong Cassidy. As a kid I loved westerns. The Strand in Oak Bluffs was showing five movies, two of them double features. Movies were obviously a huge attraction.
The lead front page article was headlined, Haven Enterprises to Take Over 4 Island Theatres. The article went on to say that Alfred Hall, a prominent Vineyard businessman, would retain ownership of the four theatre properties. The new operating chain would take over the full management with plans to raze the Oak Bluffs Strand Theatre and rebuild the attractive building shown in the sketch. “This modern motion picture house will seat 800 persons on one floor and will have the newest and best sound equipment available, special acoustical treatment, air conditioning and will be designed for maximum comfort and sanitation, the two chief aims of present day theatre construction.”
The article also reported on the many improvements to be made in the other three theatres. Promises, promises.
There were many other newsworthy events printed in this 1937 edition.
There was a birth announcement for Carol Lisa Chirgwin (that’s me), born on Nov. 1 to Thomas and Katherine Chirgwin of Edgartown. I just happened to be born on the same day as my mother.
The Edgartown School reported the honor roll, including Adeline Hall, Yvonne Berube (later Mrs. Albert Sylvia), Shirley Black, Daniel Gaines, Milton Jeffers and more.
Bailey Norton was chosen manager of the basketball team, along with Daniel Gaines as assistant.
The Edgartown Boys’ Club, through the generosity of a group of summer residents, was deeded the property on School street. At a celebration attended by a large gathering, Judge Arthur W. Davis thanked many people including Joseph Robichau, the director of the club.
Bowling was quite the sport back then. There were eight teams from all over the Island that competed regularly. In this issue the Edgartown Cafe was first, followed by Renear’s. No doubt bowling will be quite a sport again.
Capt. Ted Morgan traveled to New Bedford for an overnight. The Frank Connors just returned from vacation and it was right back to work at Connor’s Market for Frank.
Amy and Martin Look, my two cousins, had two grand Halloween parties at their home. They were reported to be noisy affairs! Amy’s guests were Adeline Hall, Shirley Black, Mae Galley, Betty Simpson, Edmund Berube and Douglas Brown. Martin’s guests were Phyllis Galley, Alma Burnham (West), Jean Morgan (Bryant), Freddy Waters and Clifford Boyd.
Extensive changes were underway at the Colonial Drug Store, owned by Len Hendrickson. It was a popular spot for “standing on the corner.”
There must have been a big demand for cars. Renear’s sales advertisement said, “Ford Is the Way to Go.” W.S. Nevin’s Garage on Dock street was the dealer of Chrysler and Plymouth, and the Dukes County Garage featured Chevrolet.
The New England Telephone Company had a large advertisement urging everyone to save 50 per cent on long distance by calling after 7 p.m. and all day on Sunday. From the Vineyard to Boston, a three minute call would then be 30 cents.
“It’s Time to Build” said an advertisement by The H.N. Hinckley & Sons Lumber Co., telephone number 75-76.
Steve Gentle has carried on his dad’s real estate business, now known as Gentle’s Realty on Edgartown harbor. And real estate brokers Stuart Avery and Olive Hillman were known as Avery and Co.
Brickman’s, today in the fourth generation and owned by Bruce Levett, was advertising Black Diamond Rubber Suits for fisherman at $8.45 per suit. Vineyard Dry Goods featured the well-known Marie Dressler dresses for $1.98.
An announcement by Kenneth T. Galley and Adelbert Jernegen states that their general contracting business will be known as K.T. Galley and Co., and under this name it’s in the third generation.
And last, but not least, was the mention of the extensive changes being made at Mrs. Lina Call’s building on Winter street in Edgartown. Her apartment was above her store, The Priscilla Pearl Shop, and Miss Maxwell’s Knitting Basket.
It was 22 years later that Carol and Dick Fligor and their one-year-old son, Brad, moved into Miss Maxwell’s space and it was there that The Fligor’s Wool Shop began! Six years later, Carol and Dick, with their children Brad, Andy, Teddy and Abby, moved into the North Water street Smith’s Inn. From then on it was known as The Fligors for a total of 43 wonderful, exciting years in business.
This 76-year-old Vineyard Gazette was full of news and a fun reminder of the good old days! Back then the Gazette cost five cents a copy or $2.50 a year.
Birthday editions of the Vineyard Gazette can be acquired for $25, as available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.