The singing 1920’s are happy years I recall as the years of a community-serving Tabernacle.
Singing could be heard almost anywhere, almost anytime in Oak Bluffs because half the members of the choir of the Tabernacle lived together, played together and loved to sing together wherever they were. Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Dad and Mother to everyone who knew them, were the leaders of this group of vocal students on vacation.
The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association housed them in the association building - ladies on the second floor, men on the third. The Beatrice House gave them three meals a day for $10 a week. That was the era when beef steak, lamb chops and baked potatoes were breakfast food.
It was the era when everyone seemed happy, the era when doors didn’t have to be locked, the era of genuine good will.
The Adams group often sang in the dining room to the delight of another 200 diners, and sometimes other groups of diners would catch the spirit and return their appreciation in song. In the evenings during the several weeks of special religious services in the Tabernacle, more than a thousand people would come to hear the marvelous story-telling Methodist bishops and sing the rhythmic gospel songs.
Always on Wednesday evening was scheduled the community sing. Again the Tabernacle was crowded with folks, young and old, who sang lustily to the accompaniment of two upright pianos, an old foot-pumped organ, and the 32 or more voices of the Tabernacle choir. Even the noise of drenching rain on the corrugated iron roof couldn’t drown the music.
Always the choir covered the platform, providing the musical leadership. The 1920s were not the roaring twenties as I think about the summers on the Camp Ground.
They were the musical, happy, singing twenties.