There are three places where you can check up on the schedule of Chappy Community Center activities and events: their very thorough website,, their gigantic chalk board on the outside wall of the CCC and the bulletin board at the ferry point. You would need a whole page of the Gazette to tell it all, but I’ll mention just a couple of events.

Winners at the all-island Chappy Pong table tennis tournament, Sunday, August 12, will take home not Olympic gold, but traditional Morning Glory pies. The fourth annual tourney, sponsored by the Chappaquiddick Community Center, is open to players of all ages and competitive levels. Registration begins at 10 a.m.; competition begins at 11 a.m. in a round-robin format. Equipment is provided and no registration fee is required. Tournament-level Butterfly and Donic tables loaned from the local Martha’s Vineyard Table Tennis Club will be used. Contact Bob O’Rourke, 508-627-7902.

The Chappy Book Club’s August pick is Jane Eyre. You’ll need to get it read before Wednesday, August 22. No Cliff notes; you have to read the actual book. Meet at the CCC at 10:30 a.m. for a two-part discussion. First: The Book, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Second: Jane Eyre vs. the Modern Heroine. Quoting from the book club poster: “Jane Eyre was a three-volume best seller in its day. How does that compare with the modern heroines of today’s novels? Anastasia Steele . . . what the heck happened to feminism? Or is it alive and well in Stephanie Plum? Who do you want to compare our Jane to? Share your insight and help us have a lively discussion. All readers welcome and encouraged.” Questions? Contact Ellen Sole, or 508-627-8741.

Don’t miss the annual CCC meeting this Saturday, August 11, starting at 9 a.m. “We hope to see as many of you there as possible,” say community center representatives. “Hear about what we have been doing this past year and what our plans are for the future. Also, we are looking for 10- to 20-pound stones to line the grass circle in front of the building. Let us know if you have a stone pile that would help us and we’ll pick them up.” E-mail or 508-627-8222.

The Trustees of Reservations are pleased to announce that you can once again drive south from the Dyke Bridge all of the way to Wasque. They also look forward to reopening Cape Pogue Elbow to the Gut very soon. They are waiting for the last few baby birds to fledge and then it will be the humans’ turn to use the beaches and oversand trails.

TTOR has many activities planned for the remainder of the summer and even into the fall. Check out their brochures available at the gate houses or the ferry. Call them at 508-627-7689 for activities and 508-627-3599 for tours. Their website is

I figure that I have maybe 20 years of life left in me. But I’m a little pudgy, don’t get much regular exercise and seem to attract stress. Let’s call it 10 good years just to be on the safe side. So knowing that I have this amount of time available to me, it occurs to me that I had better start doing the things that I want to do before it’s too late. The popular term now is bucket list: the stuff you want to accomplish or experience before you kick the bucket.

I want to take all five of my grandchildren on a cruise up the Hudson River into Lake Champlain and on through to the St. Lawrence Seaway. I’d really like to drive from coast to coast at least one more time, peer into the depths of the Grand Canyon, experience the dry heat of Death Valley, cross over Tioga Pass just after the snow melts and perhaps make the return trip through Canada this time. I’d like to go up in a hot-air balloon, see the Statue of Liberty up close once more and look out from the observation deck of the Empire State Building as I did so many times when I was a kid. As long as I’m thinking about it, I should get to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, as well. These are mostly pretty big undertakings and will require time and effort to plan.

But for now, I realize that some of the best times happen on the spur of the moment and can be squeezed in among my daily duties. For example, on Monday I sailed over to Falmouth to fetch my daughter and two grandsons, who live all the way over on the California coast. What a wonderful way for them to begin a visit to Chappaquiddick. On the way over I fought the current and had little help from the wind, but on the way back the same gushing rising tide hastened us along and the wind came up from exactly the right direction. The younger, Bailey, had a nap, lulled to sleep by the motion and sounds of sailing, and the older, Isaiah, explored all of the nooks and systems of the boat. And their mom “got a chance to ask her old man for some much sought-after advice and counsel,” to quote Nearess.

The next day was pretty full of other obligations, and by the time I was done for the day, Isaiah and I thought that we should just head home. Then we noticed the Shenandoah anchored in the outer harbor and knew we had to go out for a look. We figured that we would just motor out quickly and zip right back home, but then we put up one sail and then another; the wind came up, the sunset was spectacular, the air was cooler, the schooner was alive with cheerful kids and I realized that this was really living. And we still got back to the mooring with enough light to see. So now my bucket list has a lot of little items on it, too.

Last Friday there was a motor vehicle accident on Chappy right on the curve between the Martin House and the beginning of the Dyke Road. The fact that it was on this curve is important. Since little information was available when the call first went out, two ambulances, the rescue truck, lots of EMTs, firefighters and two police officers responded. The road was blocked for a while and people got around us by backtracking to the Litchfield Road.

The only casualty it turns out was the SUV which had struck the rear tire of a big dump truck. The SUV did what it was designed to do; body panels wrinkled, suspension arms bent, glass broke into tiny pieces, all of this serving to absorb and redirect the energy of the collision to protect the occupants who, it turns out, are all fine. My point in telling you all of this is that even on the magical island of Chappaquiddick, the laws of physics still apply.

Now, as for the laws of humankind, that’s another story. Remember that I mentioned that this accident took place on a curve? Well, after the ambulances, the EMTs, the firefighters and the rescue truck left, all that remained was the wounded SUV sitting cock-eyed across one lane, waiting for the wrecker truck to haul it away. Tucked away just out of sight around the curve were the police cruiser and my pickup truck. I was leaning on a broom awaiting the removal of the wreck so that I could sweep up the kitty litter we had spread under it to soak up the spilled fluids. The police officers were directing traffic around the wreck. Due to the curve in the road, approaching vehicles came upon us quickly and from my vantage point I noticed that almost every passing driver seemed to be surprised to come upon this great concentration of the long arm of the law on their home turf. I cringed in sympathy as drivers suddenly looked down at the speedometer or stole a quick glance over at their inspection stickers. At least one vehicle crept gingerly past, its young operator clutching the steering wheel tightly and avoiding eye contact. It seemed to me that perhaps she was exercising her Chappy driver’s license and wouldn’t qualify for a real Massachusetts license for a little while yet. I believe that quite a few lucky stars were counted that day.