Tilton House

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Hello. I am wondering if anyone could send me some photos of the Tilton house as it looks today. Our family tree goes back to the late Benjamin S. Tilton of Chilmark.

Paul Tilton (fourhounds@att.net)

Apache Junction, Ariz.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

This letter is in response to the last board of selectmen’s meeting in Oak Bluffs. I could not believe what I was hearing from Greg Coogan to his colleague Kerry Scott. He was telling her in essence that she “talked too much.”

Blessings on Kerry for wanting open meetings unlike the ones in the past where the good old boys made all the decisions in the back room and the actual meeting was just a formality. Early on, Linda Marinelli helped solve that problem by having the meetings aired on television.

I feel strongly that taxpayers need to know what is going on and where our hard-earned money is going. Kerry is giving us that information. She has a right to speak her mind as all of the selectmen do. Now, is she being gagged from speaking? Greg, very unprofessional . . . very mean-spirited. I think you owe her a public apology.

Helen Scarborough

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We were very disappointed when we returned to the Aquinnah Cultural Center this spring, as we discovered that someone had stolen our whole pile of wood that was alongside our maushoon (a traditional dugout canoe) burning exhibit. We try to have exciting activities going on all summer; unfortunately, the cost of replacing this cord of wood could cover the cost of supplies for our whole season’s crafting program, which is enjoyed by all members of the public regardless of age. It is disheartening to realize that there are people who would rob the whole community. If anyone is interested in donating a cord of wood to the Aquinnah Cultural Center to continue this exhibit or would like to donate funds to cover our summer crafting program, your contributions would be greatly welcomed, and tax deductible! Peace.

Jannette Vanderhoop


Jannette Vanderhoop is program director for the Aquinnah Cultural Council.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation treated the Vineyard to a spectacle of beauty and a glimpse into the culture of Thailand this past weekend. On Saturday, June 20, Cholthanee Koerojina and several of the members of the board of directors gave a history of Thailand and especially spoke about the project: The Trail of Thai Royalty in Massachusetts. This was followed by a class in making pad thai, one of the most enjoyed dishes of Thailand. Both events were given at the Vineyard Haven Library.

On Sunday, June 21, at 703 Main street, the summer home of Professor Francis Bowes Sayre, a bronze plaque was placed to commemorate the summer Prince Mahidol of Siam and his family spent sharing the home of Dr. Sayre. Prince Mahidol was studying at Harvard Medical School at the time. Dr. Sayre, an adviser in foreign affairs to the royal family, was instrumental in opening the doors of trade between European countries, the United States and Siam.

Following the blessing of the plaque by four Thai monks, Hannah Marlin and a young Thai student sang the national anthems of their respective countries. Both young women had equally beautiful voices.

After a short presentation of the history of the royal family in Massachusetts, a buffet of Thai food was served. The local Thai restaurants here on the Island served pad thai, green curry and other traditional Thai cuisine. Then something quite spectacular was presented: the Nora Tua Oon Dance by Thanita (Mint) Sayabovorn, a young seventh grader from the Boston area. Wearing a traditional beaded costume from the south of Thailand, a golden headdress and what must have been five silver fingertips, she did the dance of a legendary creature who is half woman and half bird. Mint has studied from a very young age to develop the flexibility and movements of this dance. A concert played on traditional Thai instruments was shared throughout the afternoon.

The Sayre family was in attendance with the youngest members dressed in traditional Thai garments. Local residents of the Island and more than 80 Thai students and their family members shared in a cultural exchange that was a very special and important event for the people of Thailand and America.

Betty Burton

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Our nine-year-old daughter Samantha Cassidy has just finished 25 months of chemotherapy for B-lymphoblastic lymphoma at the Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund and Children's Hospital. It feels impossible to put into words how incredibly grateful we are to our community and family for all of the love and support we have received throughout this crisis but we feel the need to try.

You helped us financially with fund-raisers. You cooked us meals. You took care of our other children during our hospital stays. You cleaned our house. You let us cry on your shoulders. You smiled at us and hugged us in the grocery store. You told us you were praying for us. You cheered us on and literally gave us the strength to keep going. Just to name a few.

Thank you to Audrey Harding and the Visiting Nurse Association. Audrey was at Samantha's side for 25 months and came at the drop of a hat no matter what time it was to give Samantha what she needed. Audrey has been one of our rocks. At Samantha's sickest moments, she not only helped to comfort us as parents but also gave Samantha the confidence she needed to continue with whatever medical procedure was about to happen next. She was one of her best advocates, always listening to her needs first. This organization has been vital to our treatment here on the Vineyard.

We would especially like to thank the Martha's Vineyard Hospital emergency room doctors, nurses and staff. There were several nights that we stayed overnight in the ER to await an ambulance ride to Boston the following morning. During these long, emotional and sometimes scary nights we always felt safe and well taken care of. Thank you for your expertise, your professionalism and the tenderness you showed Samantha when she was at her most vulnerable times.

The Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group has been a huge emotional and informational support to our family. Thank you for consistently being there for us throughout this ordeal.

The best news is that Samantha has an excellent prognosis. The doctors fully expect her to recover! We are looking forward to a summer of healing and are eternally grateful to be able to live in such a loving and caring community. Thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of our hearts.

Debbie Grant

and Michael Cassidy



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Our summer reading program for children of all ages begins June 30 at the Vineyard Haven Public Library. This year our statewide theme is Starship Adventure at your library, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first man landing on the moon. We are encouraging children to visit the library and sign up, keep a log of books read and attend our wonderful programs. This summer we will have story times, drop-in crafts, chess club, Wii games, and several film showings.

We will also have special guests scheduled during the summer, including musicians Julie Austin and Jeremy Berlin, author Kate Feiffer, a life-size version of the story character Curious George, and space science specialist Kathy Forester. We are fortunate to be part of the genuine Moon Rock Samples exhibit from NASA, which we’ll have for viewing.

In addition to our regular space themed films throughout the summer, we will be part of the children’s Mvla Anime Film Festival July 15 to 20. These performers and guests are made possible by the generosity of the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library. Our special musical concert with the Allards, funded through the generosity of the Anderson Foundation, will be July 9 in the courtyard.

With the generous donations made by Vineyard Haven businesses, we are able to offer incentive certificates to children to read, read, read! The Capawock Theatre has offered movie passes for children and young adults, Bob’s Pizza has offered pizza slices, Murdick’s Fudge has offered ice cream cones, MV Bagel has offered bagels, MV Heart Boutique and Waterside Market have offered gift certificates. Riley’s Reads, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore and Edu Comp have offered grand prize gift certificates. Our summer program has been enhanced by the support and encouragement of reading by these local businesses. We at the library and all the happy children wish to say a hearty thank you. Please stop by the Vineyard Haven Public Library and find out more. Or check out our calendar at vhlibrary.org. See you at the library.

Kathy Stinson

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School principal Stephen Nixon.

The class of 1960 would like to thank you for the remembrance to our class as the first graduating class of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. We knew when we graduated that it would always be an honor to be the first class, but who would have ever imagined that we would have been honored at the 50th class’s graduation.

The reception at the high school in our honor was fun for all. The food and music made it a very special affair. We all enjoyed reminiscing about our high school years and how unique it was for all of us who had been in separate high schools to join together for our last year.

We all felt very special and honored to lead the class of 2009 into the Tabernacle. The new honorary diplomas we now have officially stating us as the first graduating class will be a nice keepsake.

Thank you again for taking the time and effort to remember our class.

Donna Gazaille