Enthusiasm of a variety that was wild by Island standards followed the 7 o'clock broadcast on Tuesday night that Japan had surrendered. The natural instinct and tendency to celebrate was manifested by just about every person able to walk and appear out of door; and it seemed, in the down-Island section, at least, that all were present.

Within a few minutes after the broadcast, impromptu parades had formed in all three of the larger towns, featuring fire apparatus, with sounding sirens and horns, and queues of automobiles loaded with passengers, which contributed to the din. Pedestrians lined the sidewalks, shouting, cheering and throwing confetti, much of it manufactured on the spot, and flags, scores of them, appeared as if by magic, to decorate cars and to be waved by the enthusiastic throngs.

Erford W. Burt and Franklin Baptiste of Vineyard Haven combined the services of a wrecking truck and the 600-pound bell recently removed from the wrecked church in North Tisbury, and the century-old relic sounded out its mellow notes of victory from a prominent position in the Vineyard Haven parade. Shotguns bellowed in the distance, conch shells were dragged from forgotten corners and blown, and care and apprehensions were forgotten.


Paper Shower on Circuit Avenue


In Oak Bluffs the scene was duplicated with additional features, with Circuit avenue presenting a scene reminiscent of half a century ago. In those days, the principal street was impassable to vehicles on a Saturday night, and it required the services of about seven police officers to get cars through on V-J Night. Loaded to capacity and overflowing, they rolled up the street, through a packed multitude which whooped and shouted as they moved. Paper of every variety filled the air and littered the street, and the street department was faced with an unusual job of cleaning on the following morning.

In Edgartown, traditionally conservative, the scene was one of unparalleled mass enthusiasm which culminated in a spontaneous parade of happy, singing and shouting men, women and children, led by the school band. Most of the excitement was running down hill, in public, between 9:30 and 10 o'clock, but from 7 to those hours there was a strong wind of happy exhilaration raging.

Early in the evening most of the Island stores of every nature were closed, and following the first burst of parades, cars travelled the Island over as people sought to inspect the demonstrations of their neighbors, but police, both local and state, pronounced the whole as good-natured and, for the most part, harmless.

In the midst of this uproar of enthusiastic celebrating, the church bells called worshippers, who responded in large numbers. Most of the places of worship held special services. That at the Hebrew Center was conducted by Rabbi Barnett Brickner, who spoke feelingly on the significance of the event.


A Few Unpleasant Features


There were, however, some few unpleasant features, which was not so strange perhaps in view of the mass of people and cars which were on the move. Mrs. Douglas Cowen, of Ocean Heights, Edgartown, proceeding home in her car, was sideswiped by another car, driven by Mrs. Doris E. Clemmey of Fall River, who, according to police, proceeded without stopping after crippling Mrs. Cowen's car. Chief of Police Anthony Marciel of Oak Bluffs and State Officer Edgar T. Lindstrom apprehended the hit and run driver later, and she was locked up, charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. Bail was soon provided.

Later in the night a car owned by Henry Hoyt of New Jersey, an Edgartown visitor, was discovered, capsized, resting on its top and badly smashed, at the same place, near the curve by the Edgartown town beach. The car was presumed to have been stolen, and Officer Lindstrom and Inspector Harry T. Webb began an investigation of the incident. The car had been stolen by two persons who had abandoned bicycles, also stolen, from Ralph D. Osborne of Edgartown.

A parked car, owned by Miss Avis Taylor of Oak Bluffs had its interior burned out during the night, and this incident was investigated by Fire Chief Harry T. Webb. It developed that a fire had started in the car earlier in the day, and it seemed that a spark had remained smoldering, to burst out later.

At Vineyard Haven, Mrs. Carl Norton of Edgartown had her second accident within a week when her car and that of Richard Andrade of Vineyard Haven collided at Franklin street and Daggett avenue. Officer Harold Webb said that Mrs. Norton suffered bruises.

Exactly what the cost to the Vineyard might be for this national celebration could not well be estimated in the gray dawn of the morning after. All the Island knew was that the late steamer into Vineyard Haven did not arrive. A notice, posted in the Vineyard Haven postoffice read: "No boat, no mail." The steamboat deck hands had walked off their boats to celebrate.


Foodstuffs Piled Up


Foodstuffs of perishable nature were said to be piled up in both New Bedford and Woods Hole. Travelers, some of them service men, due to report at distant places, were stranded except for the irregular service in small boats, which was not too frequent, on Wednesday. Fish lying in the hold of at least one Island vessel were taken out into the tide and dumped, 18,000 pounds of it, because it was useless, as Capt. Joseph Authier learned by phone, to take it to market.

Fortunately for the Vineyard, the power-station crew, telephone operators, and numerous others who serve the public, did not insist on having their holidays. In some instances drugstores were closed, being out of ice cream and other necessaries, but the prescription clerks were available in case medicines were needed. Milkmen made their regular deliveries and there was some movement of heavy transportation of freight. The Island bus service was likewise in operation.