Moving Matters

From Gazette editions of September, 1936:

In the past 25 years there has been an increase of 2,266, 2 to 3%, in the number of Island cars, figures prepared for the Gazette in 1911 and in 1936 by William G. Manter, an automobile dealer of Vineyard Haven, reveal. Among the 93 cars then in 1911 belonging to regular residents of the Island, there were 26 different makes of which only eight are still being manufactured. In 1911 Maxwell led the field by a wide margin, being the car owned by a third of the Island horseless-carriage addicts. There were a few Autocars, Elmores, Locomobiles, Stevens-Duryeas and Sampsons.


“There’s no use in trying to be a lady if you want to work for real conservation,” said Mrs. Charles Edge, chairman of the Emergency Conservation Committee of New York. She was speaking at the September meeting of the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club. Public conservation is a racket, she said, governed by politicians who in turn are governed by business. If you want to fight for real conservation, you have to buck the politicians and the businessmen, and consequently you cannot remain very ladylike. The word conservation usually brings to the mind of the average person not the work accomplished by small groups really working in the interest of wild life, but the crimes committed in its name.

“Killers and destroyers of wild life have run away with the word conservation, and to allay the fears of the public have masqueraded as conservationists. In particular the gun and ammunition interests instigate the killing of birds and harmless animals in order to increase dividends through the sale of shells and guns,” she said. It is the gun interests which have circulated the propaganda against the birds of prey. “Hawks and eagles are very important to wildlife, for they keep the birds and small animals healthy by eating the old and diseased which cannot get away from them, thus allowing only the strong and healthy to breed. We don’t see old, gray-haired, dejected birds sitting around on trees,” she pointed out. “But unfortunately, because the birds of prey have been ‘framed,’ there are so few left that diseased birds have become noticeable.”


Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Luce and their two small children were among the guests on the power yacht Northwind which was in Edgartown harbor over the weekend. Mr. Luce, who with Briton Hadden founded the magazine Time, is editor of that publication and the publisher of both Time and Fortune. For the past few months he has been doing intensive work planning for the launching of a new pictorial weekly magazine. While the Northwind was here, Mr. Luce took numerous photographs of Island scenes. And on Monday Mr. Luce engaged a catboat in which he took his family out sailing in the harbor.


The warm season of the year begins with the pinkletink and ends with the cricket. Spring makes it self audible with the chant from the marshes and fall sings itself out in the lingering chirrup which fills our nights as they become cooler. The fall process has begun, and anyone who wants to feel the consolation, the lilting perfection of night, can step out of doors and be received into the world of the cricket.

In some countries crickets are caged for their chirping, as canaries are caged for their color and song. But here the whole outdoors is turned over to the crickets and becomes a festival, and when the crickets come indoors, they do so of their own choice, to sing in the wood box.

From now on we may hope for and expect the characteristic late summer nights of the Island — cool, fragrant, luminous, slightly tinted by drifting mists in low places. To those people who are about to go to the city, these nights must exert an attraction as of a natural force which is difficult to resist. These nights are musical, with the chirruping of the cricket and the final flood of song from all the other summer insects. These nights surge and flow.

There is an identity of sensation in which crickets and coolness and the sheen of starlight stand together to give late summer a particular character. No harmony is as complete as the harmony of the nights when crickets command the living world to fascination.


The outgoing tide has set in, we notice, and the summer sojourners are moving restlessly toward the wharves. Those who succeeded in founding Labor Day for the dignifying of labor would find it ironic that the holiday has really turned out to be a boundary of the vacation season as much as anything else.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner