Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The SSA has sunk low in displaying large gaudy advertising “art” in the new ferry. As usual, business interests, largely indifferent to values other than profit, have pulled strings and worked their will: to scribble their graffiti over every blessed empty public space.

Better even than the graffiti of those other vandals, the ones with spray cans and a fine delight in calligraphy, who advertise nothing but their guileless egos — which at least are not, like America itself apparently, for sale.

Edward Hewett

Vineyard Haven



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Regarding the August 24 editorial and being unapologetic about Island trees: I would like to enter a few suggestions about Island trees, specifically Chappaquiddick trees. For wonderful trees, start at the Chappaquiddick Community Center. If driving or cycling, park there.

First stop is the grove of beetlebung trees on a small island in the pond — very best when the leaves redden in the fall but also handsome when leafless through the winter.

Then take the westernmost trail from the community center; go to the first 90-degree corner trail after the brush-cut field, go another 150 to 200 yards to a big white pine on the right of the trial. Broken back by multiple storms, the tree has eight-foot, 12-inch diameter branches that have become trunks. The highest needle tips may be wispy and slightly yellow and the tree would not appeal to a shipbuilder looking for a tall ship mast, but it is definitely a tree of character.

Then follow the roadside track around the north side of the pond, take the trail back to the paved Chappaquiddick Road and follow the trail cutoff from the north side of the road (west of Blueberry Cottage) to the lookout over Cape Pogue Pond. The trail is steep, up and down with trailing arbutus and other exotics in early spring and goes into steep kettle holes. One has a big grove of beech trees (I’ve been told Henry Beetle Hough called this the best grove of beeches on Martha’s Vineyard). The very best time to see these trees is late winter after all the leaves are off. It looks like a grove of writhing giant anacondas or pythons.

After this point if you keep following the trail toward Cape Pogue Pond, there are several very good hollows with old contorted blueberries and stretches of emerald moss, then grassy hollows and lumps of glacial morraine.


Dale Carter



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

For the past few years I have had the pleasure of traveling from Chilmark to Whippoorwill Farm, spending an hour or so picking fresh vegetables and flowers, chatting with other pickers, and with Andrew. I carry my prizes home and enjoy the fruits of Andrew‘s labor (and his crew). Fresh vegetables that you know have been grown organically, are vastly different from those in supermarkets (even the so-called organic ones).

Having this choice available here on the Vineyard adds to the specialness of the Vineyard. I first began to spend summers on the Vineyard in 1930 when most of what we ate was local. Times may have been economically difficult but food was fresh and local. Some old ways should be preserved.

Barbara Lipke




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