From Gazette editions of February, 1960:
There’s no telling what the subject of conversation will be in Connors Market. The topic the other day was Flying Horses on Chappaquiddick, which at first seems far-fetched. But Mrs. Antone Silva remembers whereof she spoke. It happened that Mrs. Barry Keenan dropped in, and, asked if she could recall Flying Horses on Chappaquiddick. “Yes,” she said, “when I was a little girl weren’t they at the bathing beach?” Flying Horses at Chappaquiddick — exactly that, and not any common carousel or merry-go-round — are a matter of history. A concern known as Chamberlain and Mason brought them here, and they were first operated in 1895. How the horses were transported across the harbor is not of record.
For Francis A. Silva of Edgartown the early morning hours before the sun comes up constitute about a half of his working day. That time, when a great majority of people are snug in their beds, is a time of great stillness, great beauty and — although Mr. Silva doesn’t look for it — adventure. Mr. Silva is a milkman for the Martha’s Vineyard Cooperative Dairy. It would be easy to think that he might have a lonely time of it. But he doesn’t. He calls the hours of daybreak the finest of all the twenty-four. He knows the fine point between loneliness and aloneness.
The number of stranded motorists he has helped has been legion. Flat tires, concked-out engines or whatever the trouble, at 3 a.m. on a dark and deserted road, have made him frequently a welcome sight. Most recently, by being on the spot at the right time, by being alert to conditions and knowing precisely what to do, he contributed largely to the circumstances that saved the life of Leslie Francis when his car ran off the road, crashed through guard rails and landed submerged in Trapp’s Pond. Mr. Silva discovered Mr. Francis on the frozen bank where he had managed to drag himself and was able to make him more comfortable without moving him, before hurrying back to the dairy to call for help.
Asked to tell about some of his experiences, he started out by saying, “At that hour of the morning you are apt to see quite a lot, and a lot of it you couldn’t write about in the newspaper.” He remembered one experience that occurred about 5:30 a.m. on a summer morning when he was on the way home and stopped to give a lift to a woman walking along the road. “I won’t tell you where I was, because you might try to figure out who it was, but after we were riding along for a while, I asked her where she wanted to get out. She said she was not going to get out, she was going home with me. She kept saying that, so I turned the truck around and started back the other way, and then she said, ‘Where’re you going?’ And I told her the deputy sheriff’’s house was just up the road and I was going there. She got out then, all right.”
Police of Tisbury and West Tisbury took part in the investigation this week of a break at the Makonikey summer home of Roger W. Higgins of Brighton. So far as the officers could determine, nothing had been taken from the house, but the situation was an unusual one because of the location of the dwelling across the town line. Plywood was removed and a glass panel in the front door was broken in order to enter the house. The door is in West Tisbury, hence the presence on the case of Chief of Police John E. Palmeira. But a window shutter was also broken on the Tisbury side of the house and it became necessary for Chief of Police William King of Tisbury to enter upon the investigation.
Rep. Joe Sylvia had two pieces of news to report when he arrived on the Island from Boston on Friday afternoon. First, that after all the fuss occasioned by some of the Powers That Be, Cap’n Norman Benson is assured that his fish-trap license will be issued again this year despite his recent difficulties with the director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries. Second, that despite the wire-pulling which nobody denies, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will not be moved from its present location in Oak Bluffs to one of the shops adjoining the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven. Certainly the inspector, Cyril J. Blackwood, will rejoice, as will all others who have to visit the registry for a driving test or other business.
Cap’n Benson’s statement when he heard the news, is worthy of publication: “I had a damned good man working for me!” And it is not out of order to quote Representative Sylvia, who said: “That is the kind of a job that I love to do! When a man of 78 years still prefers to work for his living rather than retire on old age assistance, I admire his pride and strength of character. He deserves any service that I can give him!”
It is not a betrayal of trust to add that Representative Sylvia did indeed “go to bat” to bring about these results, contacting the highest authorities involved and laying his case before them.
Compiled by Cynthia Meisner