From the Vineyard Gazette editions of August 1965:
Will she or won’t she? Is she or isn’t she going to marry Frank Sinatra? The question had the whole Island in a tizzy of inquiry, while reporters were descending like locusts from aircraft, and photographers were arriving in equipment-packed cars.
Eventually all this took to the water and toured Edgartown harbor, doing lazy loops around the 168 foot Southern Breeze which Mr. Sinatra has chartered for this occasion, whatever the occasion may have turned out to be. All the confusion with its big unanswered question fell into place when the facts were separated from rumor and speculation.
The fact is that the Southern Breeze, all 168 feet of her, complete with her large cabin cruiser type motor launches, dropped her hook in the Edgartown harbor Wednesday. The fact is that Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Claudette Colbert, Merle Oberon and Rosalind Russell were on board, except when they were parading on Main street. The fact is that Main street was all dug up and had a crane with mechanical jaws constantly digging up more of Main street,
The fact is that Walter Winchell reported some weeks ago that Mr. Sinatra intended to marry Miss Farrow. The fact is that the Gazette office, the public station, and numerous individuals have been constantly telephoned by the sleuthing press, inquisitive radio stations, and Main street is clogged up. The fact is that this entourage had dinner at the Harborside Thrusday night, with autograph-seeking teenagers oozing out of improbable places.
Rumor is that Mr. Sinatra will marry Miss Farrow at the James Cagney place in Chilmark. Rumor is that they will be married today, tomorrow, the next day, etc. Newspapers and radios were calling this a national event and the most important marriage of the decade, and all the while Main street grew more congested. The fact is Edgartown police were having a problem heretofore only endured by the New York city police stationed at Grand Central and 42nd street during a rainy Friday night during the rush hour just before Christmas.
“They’re in the drug store!” was the hue and cry yesterday when some summer visitors spotted the celebrities and had to tell other summer visitors. “I was that far from him!” yelled an older man, eyes bulging with excitement, as he held up two fingers two inches apart.
The harbor, already crowded with the dregs of the New York Yacht Club cruise, was more crowded with circulating news men and circulating Boston Whalers containing teenagers, and one enterprising skipper was flying stream of code flags from his starboard hoist, saying: “Bye Frank.” It’s all a bit insane and giddy, rather like a carnival, and through it all the crane was contentedly munching on Main street’s blacktop,
“There she is!” yelled a large woman in a small bathing suit, and the charge was on with a multitude of mammals cruising up Main street behind Miss Farrow. Mia Farrow, for the benefit of those who have not been in the drug store, the Harborside Inn, or the harbor, is the 19-year-old star who plays Allison on Peyton Place, television’s first night time serial. Most of the Island people have watched this prosaic carnival rather disapprovingly, and wondered what all the fuss was really all about anyway.
It seems, as one Islander remarked, people who live on the Vineyard have seen movie folks before. Someone called to ask a Menemsha resident about the fabulous proposed marriage, thinking his proximity to the Cagney residence might have netted him some inside information, and he replied, “I couldn’t care less!” and meant it. The crane on Main street didn’t care either. It continued to make loud noises, munch the blacktop and block traffic.
Police were having a time keeping the waterfront traffic moving as hordes of people gathered on every vantage point to gaze at the harbor, expecting to see, no one knew what.
The wonders of Martha’s Vineyard and the charm of sailing and swimming in her waters, of walking the picturesque old streets, of climbing the clay cliffs at Gay Head, were all forgotten as the tourists massed together on a humid afternoon to gaze seaward, to wait and to watch.
The Sinatra yacht, by far the largest seen this season, made port at Vineyard Haven on Sunday, and after attempting to dock at the steamboat pier, which could not be allowed, anchored in the lower harbor, where for some hours she was surrounded by small pleasure craft, loaded with persons who hoped to see her distinguished passengers.
Yesterday, the yacht remained at anchor in the lower harbor at Vineyard Haven while the party toured the Island in one of the Island Transport buses.
It was the second visit to Vineyard Haven by some of the party, who had visited David Golart’s clothing store last week, but wonder of wonders, were not recognized.
“A customer is a customer, just that and nothing more!” observed the proprietor.
Compiled by Hilary Wall