My Best Job Ever had to have been ring boy at The Flying Horses! There could not possibly be more prestigious and influential employment in the Great Watering Place of Cottage City, our beloved town of Oak Bluffs. I got to meet and re-meet friends, old and new, a first glimpse of the cutest girls—and possibly you. How pleased were the parents, the well dressed kids, cotton candy, popcorn—stuff old age diet forbids.

The Flying Horses was brought from Coney Island in 1884 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It’s always been a national treasure to those who have grown up with it. The Flying Horses was initially called the Carousel (never a merry-go-round!) and originally located behind today’s Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, next to a skating rink and an 800-foot toboggan ride. It moved to Circuit avenue (well, Lake street) in 1889. The word carousel is Spanish and Italian and means “little war” and was a device used to train cavalry men and horses—they would ride past the revolving carousel and practice spearing one of the rings hanging from the wheel. That’s where the idea for the rings came from.

Built as one of 25 carousels of Coney Island in 1876, it is the only one with horses carved by Charles Dare. There are two rows of horses; 10 large ones on the outside and 10 smaller on the inside for smaller people like we used to be. There are four chariots for those who cannot sit atop the horses. It was purposefully designed to travel counter clockwise in order to make it easier for most people (who are right-handed) to grab the rings. Each ride makes 15 revolutions, lasts about four and a half minutes and the horses “fly” for about 250,000 rides annually, gloriously accompanied by waltzes you rarely hear anywhere else.

For each ride the ring person (it was only ring boys back in the 1960s) loads about 200 steel rings with one brass one appearing last. Catch it and win a free ride. My grandson Jamir won three free rides in a row one summer, a family record. The only person I ever saw catch six rings at once was then Narragansett Avenue’s Olivia Steele. Lots of folks say they could catch more. Unless you worked there, too, I’ve seen more rides on the Flying Horses—so have those who say they can catch more than four show you.

Marvelously conserved by The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust and amazingly maintained by motorcycle expert Mike (Panhead) Fuss, if you want the experience of a time warp, enter the Flying Horses on the Giordano’s side, take a ride and exit on the other side across from the Strand Theatre. It’s nice to grow up in a place where you learn that once you catch that brass ring, you don’t let go.

Over the years I became a hard-working media type — but I started out as a Circuit avenue street kid and the first Circuit avenue commercial building built by The Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company was the Arcade or, today, Sharkey’s Cantina. Sharkey’s and Jaba’s Gallery, down across from Union Chapel and the new Chowder Company are owned by JB Blau, who’s earned a shout if anyone has. JB has been providing our town with employment and enjoyment every day of the year because that’s his job. But JB’s business is people, and there is rarely a people need he won’t find a way to fill or a cause he won’t quietly champion. Thanks, man, and we hope business stays good.

The business of Oak Bluffs starts up again this week—we have guests coming, and our summer guests will have lots of diversions.

Rarely does one have the honor to befriend someone who actually effected worldwide change: hats off to Oak Bluffs and Cambridge’s New Orleans-raised Caroline Hunter, who goes to DC next week to receive the Rosa Parks Memorial Award on July 1 from the National Education Association honoring her work in helping to end Polaroid’s part in apartheid in South Africa and her long career in the Cambridge school system. Watch the column for details on Caroline’s annual golf fundraiser at Farm Neck.

Congratulations to Meadow View Farms’ Shelley Stewart 2nd. He was recruited from Tyco by DuPont, who named him vice president of sourcing and logistics and chief procurement officer, making him one of the leading African American business executives in the country and especially at a public company. Congratulations also to my 50-plus-year playmate Rich Walker, senior vice president and community affairs officer of Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank—who grew up on The Rock, cooking at Giordano’s in the summers and becoming a legendary Island fisherman — for catching his first sailfish in Mexico.

Reach out there or by e-mail and let me know if you have some news. Congratulations to all the Oak Bluffs winners of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine’s Best of the Vineyard—almost an oxymoron, but of course, I’m partial.

On Sunday, July 1, the Rev. Fr. Edward L. Beck, C.P., from the Passionist Community of Harlem, N.Y., appears at the Tabernacle at 9:30 a.m.

Also on Sunday, from 5 to 7 p.m., Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard hosts an art jubilee on the porch of the Wesley Hotel — all pictures are $100 and are donated by the artists.

To Caroline Hunter and the rest of The Polar Bears: the water at the Inkwell was 72 degrees on Sunday morning.

Do you suppose they’ll ever put the T and the R back in the Strand Theatre sign?

Keep your foot on a rock.