Harry and Rose, two dear friends, asked if they could come up this summer as houseguests because, as they put it, they have “heard so much about the Vineyard that we want to see it for ourselves.” I replied this way.
Dear Harry and Rose,
Ann and I were thrilled to hear you wanted to visit us on the Vineyard this summer. Please do come, as we know you’ll love it as much as we do.
The typhoid epidemic should be over by the time you get here. The U.S. Public Health officials insist it isn’t as serious as some of the papers have made it out to be, and if they can get permission from the Environmental Protection Agency to spray the swamps, the mosquitos should be neutralized by Labor Day.
But to be on the safe side you better get fever shots as well as those for cholera. We haven’t had any cholera in some time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t lurking somewhere in the ponds.
You asked if you could bring anything. The answer is no. We have everything on Island including shark repellent. Actually there aren’t too many sharks this year compared with former summers, and only a few of the white killer variety have managed to slip through the nets near the beaches.
To date less than 20 people have been torn limb from limb by sharks and most of them because they were swimming where they shouldn’t be.
The sailing is terrific this summer, and while we’ve had our usual share of hurricanes, the Coast Guard says that shipwrecks are down except in the “Woods Hole Triangle.”
Yes, Harry and Rose, we have our own triangle, and while it isn’t as famous as the Bermuda Triangle, it has been a graveyard for some of the finest sailboats ever built in the United States.
Just the other day a flotilla from the New York Yacht Club set sail from Falmouth to Edgartown on a brisk, clear day with a gentle wind and the sea like glass. In a half hour the fog came up and 30 minutes later, when it cleared there was not a boat on the water.
It seems to happen every year, but I have good charts, and I assure you I won’t take you anywhere near the triangle.
If you don’t want to go sailing, there are lots of other things to do on the Vineyard. One of the most enjoyable is to go picnicking up at Gay Head. This is a very isolated area and we know a stretch of beach where, if you keep hitting a tin pot with a large spoon, you can scare the snakes away.
Not that there are that many, but if you do get bitten by a snake, it’s very hard to get to the hospital because most of the bridges are down since the big flood of ‘67.
As for what clothes to bring — suit yourself, but be sure to pack plenty of rain gear. I don’t think we’ve seen the sun since June for more than an hour. Our house isn’t winterized so I would suggest you bring lots of warm sweaters. Also bring plenty of books because sometimes you can get stuck inside for a week.
I hope both of you aren’t terribly allergic to poison ivy or poison oak. For some reason it’s sprung up all over the Island and it can really drive you crazy if it touches any part of you.
Well, I guess that’s it. We’re dying for you to come and the exterminator just got finished with your room (Little Suzie and her damn friends with their bedbugs).
We’ll meet you at the airport unless it’s socked in and then your teeny weeny Air New England plane will probably have to make a forced landing in Hyannis. Now be sure and let us know when you’re coming — you hear?