The week after Labor Day in 1966 my husband Tom, my sister in law Ruth, and I decided to see a movie before returning to school and work. We took the ferry to town on a very cool and foggy evening only to find that the Edgartown movie theatre (then the second floor of the town hall) was closed that week. Being young and determined we hitchhiked to Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven to see what was showing there only to find that those theatres were closed as well. Little did we know that after Labor Day all of the Island movie theatres closed for a week. We hitchhiked back to Edgartown, took the ferry back to Chappy, and spent the remainder of the evening quietly at home. I mention this outing to show how the Vineyard and the seasons have changed over the years. The Vineyard now has much more of a swing season and the thought of everything closing up tight immediately after Labor Day must seem strange to current residents, visitors, shopkeepers, and movie goers.
But, should you be looking for a movie this evening you do not have to go farther than the Chappaquiddick Community Center to see A Very Long Engagement. Take the star and the director of Amalie and combine them to tell a breathtaking, epic story of love and war. This film was nominated for almost every foreign film award in 2005. Amalie’s Audrey Tautou stars as Mathilde, a young Frenchwoman who vows to find out what happened to her missing fiance during World War I. Note, that though the film is visually beautiful, there are some violent scenes of war.
Friday, Sept. 5. Mary Spencer has scheduled a personal favorite for the Chappaquiddick Community Center foreign film series. At a time when so many movies feed on irony and cynicism, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After Life reaches out to the audience and challenges: what is the single moment in our life we treasure most? He hopes we will feel better and wiser when we leave his film, and we do. According to Mary this film is beautifully done and its message haunting.
When Jim Walsh first saw this young eagle pictured near his home on North Neck he thought that it might be a lawn ornament due to its size. He was able to take this photo from about twenty feet away before the bird gave him a disparaging look, spread its wings, and gently and quietly lifted effortlessly off of the ground with just the slightest flick of its wings.
A dozen Chappy residents met earlier this week to hear Dukes County rodent control officer T.J. Hegarty discuss how best to control rodents around their homes, trash bins and containers, and cars. Mr. Hegarty presented information about the county rodent control program that provides for a home inspection and placement of traps and controlled poisons for a fee of $55. T.J. indicated that rats and mice are able to chew through wood and plastic but that there are a number of methods to control them. One successful but complicated approach is to use quarter inch carpenters cloth to seal them out. This approach requires the screen to be buried into the ground a foot and also come away from the house or shed a foot. If you would like additional information call Mr. Hegarty at 508-696-4888. This year there has been an increase in rodent activity but no one really knows why.
Bob O’Rourke has sent this follow up information on the Chappy Pong tournament held August 16. Sam Funk of Litchfield, Conn., and a summer resident of Chappaquiddick won the summer Chappy Pong table tennis tournament at the Chappaquiddick Community Center, downing Alina Wen three straight games, 11-6, 11-7, and 12-10 in the championship match. Mr. Funk, Alina Wen of Edgartown and Albert Lau of Oak Bluffs, were the top three match winners in a field of 14 competing in a round robin format. Alina Wen and Mr. Lau are members of the Quinapong table tennis club, which plays fall and winter in the Aquinnah town hall, and West Tisbury School. The modern game of table tennis, including international play at the recent Olympics competition, defines a game as 11 points, and a match as the best of five, 11 point games. Island residents interested in playing in the fall season beginning in September can contact Bob O’Rourke, 508-627-7902. Also, a new women’s group is being organized for the fall as a follow up to the Chappy Pong tournament.
A thank you to all the Chappy Ferry deck hands for their smiling faces, ability to cheerfully answer endless questions, and for their help in keeping everything moving. The young people working on the ferry this summer include Hallie Carol (who also worked at the beach club), Quincy Dewing (son of Ernie Dewing and grandson of Ted and Shirley Dewing of Chappy), Charlotte Fager of New Canaan, Conn. (summer resident of the Sears camp at Wasque), William Fligor (Capt. Brad Fligor’s son), Clara Goldfield (whose parents operate Penumbra), George Manley (whose mother owns Lola Tortola), Alexander Minnehan (who will play hockey this winter in Foxboro), Charlotte and Rachel Wells (Sally and Peter’s nieces), Matt Wetzel(whose mother baked several hundred cookies for the Ferry crew over the summer), and Zachary Waller (who will start at Boston College this fall).
Next time you are visiting the Chappy Community Center take a look at Brine’s Pine a wooden sculpture by Chappy Ferry Captain Bob Gilkes. The cured and carved sculpture was made from a pitch pine from Bill Brine’s meadow by the Chappaquiddick Community Center that was damaged during the storm that breached Norton Point. Bob is expanding his artistic talents. Next time you are on the ferry ask him if you can sneak a peek at his photography portfolio.
Now that summer is winding down it is nice to know that events and activities continue without an arbitrary calendar end. While a lot of things are “over” there is still much to see and enjoy on Chappy and the Vineyard without hitchhiking to find them.