Going Places

From Gazette editions of June, 1936:

The season of 1936 has been coming in on a bicycle, and many observers have looked up, startled, to see it coming in on a bicycle built for two. An older generation had forgotten all about the tandem bicycle, and a younger generation has never heard of it. There is a pleasant surprise to see the two-seater skimming along the street, its two riders enjoying sensations which the human race was silly ever to have surrendered.

The principle feature of the bicycle is self-reliance. Your wheel is an extension of your personality and not merely another mechanical device which does things for you without any particular effort on your part. Going places on a bicycle assumes a fuller reality and becomes enriched with detail which you never noticed before.

Bicycles are not just transportation. They are diversion, exercise, and intimate adventure. They do not detract from the supremacy of gasoline, but they fill in nicely with a role which is all their own. Welcome to the season of 1936 as it skims over the pavement, waving to us from a two-seater.

The Beatrice House, one of the best known of Oak Bluffs summer hotels, has been purchased by Lee and Martha LaBelle, operating various establishments under the name of “LaBelle’s.” The purchase was made from Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Huss, who have operated the hotel as managing owners for thirty-five years, up until two years ago, when it was taken over by Mr. and Mrs. Willis Hughes.

Mr. and Mrs. LaBelle will manage the hotel themselves. The day clerk is to be Frederick Miller and the hostess will be Mrs. Evelyn Oakes of Boston.

Mr. and Mrs. LaBelle, with the opening of the Beatrice House, will be handling six establishments, four restaurants, a bakery and the hotel.

Buster, the cocker spaniel owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hollis Smith, has developed tendencies which indicate a strain of the proverbial fish-hound in his makeup. It was not until last week that relatives of the Smiths viewed the Tashmoo herring creek, with the herring running for the first time. They amused themselves by catching some of the fish. It was Buster’s first view of the phenomenon as well, and he was not to be outdone. Plunging into the water, he caught several herring and could be coaxed away from the creek with difficulty. Since that time he has been leaving home, even as erring mankind, “to go fishing,” returning wearied but with smears of telltale scales about his mouth to prove that he has been following the pastime of Isaak Walton.

Schooner Liberty of Edgartown, Capt. Claude Wagner, arrived at Woods Hole, first of the Island fleet to bring in swordfish. They had twenty-three fish, of which four were sold to Sam Cahoon and the rest shipped over the road to Boston. Sam paid 34 cents straight, which was a better price than the 37 cents, with deductions, for the nineteen big fish bought in Boston. Schooner Hazel M. Jackson, Capt. Robert L. Jackson, was reported in Boston, having landed 37 fish, selling for 30 cents and 20 cents, depending on size.

Mean weather put a crimp in the hopes of the men for a good start. A skiff, hailing from Staten Island, was picked up by the Liberty the second day out, about 100 miles equally from its home and Edgartown. It was stowed on deck and brought home.

The last of this month will see the opening of the Vineyard Farmers’ Cooperative Market at the West Tisbury fairgrounds. To many strangers the market may appear anomalous, for agriculture does not seem important on the Vineyard. Where are all the farmers? And is this market simply a fad, or is it a device to catch a little extra business in summer? The point is that the market project is designed to strengthen agriculture on Martha’s Vineyard. Exactly because the productivity of Island soil has been permitted to ebb, and farms have ceased to attract ambitious men and women, some constructive plan is necessary to demonstrate the possibilities of agriculture here, and to link the producer with those who will consume his crops and produce.

The cooperative market is far from being a fad. It is dead earnest. So far as it concerns summer residents directly, it will show them what the Island can raise and put before them fresh produce from Island farms and gardens. There has been an increasing demand for Vineyard fruits and vegetables in season, and one of the most usual complaints of summer is that native vegetables are hard to get, or that Islanders do not raise the sort of thing most in demand. Here is a chance for demand to meet supply, and the consumers on the Vineyard can go to the producers, see what they have, and ask for anything else.

Lovers of Martha’s Vineyard recognize the fact that the future is less certain than the past. We must have means of livelihood in the winter. We must have occupations to maintain able and self respecting men and women to prevent them from going to the mainland, or to draw them back from the mainland if they have left

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner