Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Regarding Mrs. Whipple’s tree named for her son Timmy, which was mutilated by the construction of a parking space, and displayed on these pages — perhaps not life and death as Mrs. Whipple so delicately states, but certainly front page news in the hearts of those who love this beautiful Island.

Jack Schimmelman

Levittown, N.Y.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I recently had the occasion to see the Vineyard and Chappaquidick’s emergency medical system in action, and was very pleased and impressed. When my mother in law had a bad fall in the middle of the night, I called 911. After speaking with the operator, we decided to drive her to the hospital ourselves. Before disconnecting, the operator asked what kind of car we were going to be driving. Peter Wells met us at the end of our road and, after telling us to put on our hazard lights, directed us to the ferry, which was waiting for us and put us on immediately. When we reached the hospital, the emergency room did a great job checking my mother in law out thoroughly. They performed a CAT scan that was beamed to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and read right away. When the results came back normal, thankfully, we got good advice — to watch my mother in law and for her not to go wandering around for a glass of water in the dark— and headed home again. The ferry had been notified by the hospital that we would need a ride back, and waiting to carry us back to Chappy at 2:30 a.m., was the ever competent, kind, and reliable Charlie!

Our family is tremendously grateful to the town of Edgartown, the Chappy Ferry and to the dispatcher, emergency care staff and the hospital for the money that has been spent and time taken to prepare for and execute such an efficient and effective response, and to the folks who were there for us that night to implement it. Thank you, Peter Wells, Charlie, and the 911 and hospital emergency room staff!

And for the information of Chappaquidickers, I didn’t know it at the time, but calling 911 in such a situation is very important, because the call is heard on the emergency radio system, signaling the ferry staff to go into action to help.

Many thanks.

Bonni Widdoes Dangel


and Boston


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Heading home last week on a hot and steamy afternoon on Old County Road with pie and ice cream on board for grandnephews in Aquinnah, we got a flat tire. We pulled off to the side at the entrance to a private drive, nearly blocking access to an exiting car whose driver immediately got out to ask if we needed assistance. He offered to call AAA on his cell phone, but when he heard about the ice cream he felt it would take too long for help to arrive and decided to change the tire himself. As we fussed around trying to locate the necessary jack and other equipment for the procedure, he stood patiently waiting for us to get our act together. He then with great efficiency changed the tire, and when we thanked him, he refused any notion of reward, saying that it was his pleasure to be able to help people in need. This gallant gentleman was Gary Williams of Edgartown, a perfect exemplar of all that’s best on Martha’s Vineyard. The Island is fortunate to have such a citizen.

Louis and Rosalind Lefeber



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of the board of directors and staff of the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard we would like to thank the many people who made our Saturday, June 27 Celebration of Pets such a success. From horses, cats, rabbits, parrots, and many, many dogs, Island pets were well represented.

Many people stopped by to visit with their pets as well as give their time and encouragement. Thank you everyone for your help in making our official opening day celebrations a success.

We look forward to seeing you all again at our next event!

Greg Orcutt

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Polly Hill, from her heavenly perch, provided a rare day of sunshine for her arboretum’s main event, the Summer Solstice. A jolly crowd of people of all ages came out to enjoy the music, the puppet show and spectacular parade, the nature crafts, Vineyard Sound, touring around the grounds to admire the beautiful blooming trees and the delicious food and drink provided by Stop and Shop. We are grateful to all the volunteers who came out to make this such a glorious event. Our special gratitude goes to Sam Kouhy, the “manager with the mostest” at Stop and Shop who generously donates all the hot dogs and go-withs, the cookies, lemonade, and iced tea that our attendees enjoy. He orders and organizes all of it for us with aplomb and good humor. Thank you also to the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank for their donation which enables us to purchase the extras. If you missed the solstice party this year, you can still visit the arboretum and enjoy its beautiful grounds, flowering trees, and let the children go on Polly’s scavenger hunt. Big people like that too, even on a gloomy day.

Cynthia Walsh

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As the staff partner of this year’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Martha’s Vineyard, I would like to extend my appreciation to the many individuals that attended and supported this year’s event at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. More than 500 people participated helping to raise more than $60,000. While the current economic climate has made fund-raising more challenging for everybody, we are continually inspired by the dedication of all of our fellow volunteers who have redoubled their efforts to ensure this year’s success.

Relay For Life supports the society’s critical mission to save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, to get well by being in their corner through every step of their cancer experience, to find cures through groundbreaking research and treatment discoveries, and by fighting back through influencing public policy. The outstanding support received proves that the community is truly committed to the fight against cancer.

We were honored to be joined by the 48 survivors who participated in the opening lap and survivor reception. These survivors are the reason we continue the fight, because each year there can be more and more people celebrating another birthday and living wonderful lives following a diagnosis of cancer.

A special thanks to the many Relay For Life volunteers who worked to make this, the sixth annual event, a success. The committee did an outstanding job of putting the event together. We also appreciate the generosity of our sponsors, including the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard.

Again, thank you for supporting the American Cancer Society, and remember it’s not too late to turn in any outstanding donations to support this year’s event, and never too early to get involved to help us plan for next year. Visit relayforlife.org to learn more.

Lauren Brodeur-Arlia

Yarmouth Port


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I wish to congratulate conductor Beeky Lee and the Vineyard Haven Band for a superb band performance last week at Owen Park. The musical performance, the selection, the joyous surrounding evening was tops in every dimension! James Cagney, a former song and dance man like myself, would truly be thrilled by George M. Cohan’s Patriotic Fantasy.

Emmett H. Eaton

Riverside, Conn.

Mr, Eaton has been a Vineyard visitor since 1935.