Editors, Vineyard Gazette: 

I had a good laugh reading David Handlin’s op-ed about his controversial trophy home on Quitsa Pond, my old home.

Evidently we are now to compare those who build trophy homes on the Island to the Pilgrims, to Ben Franklin and George Washington, those who escaped political and religious persecution to found this great country.

Shall we add a second Thanksgiving for these poor martyrs?

A man is not a pariah because someone calls him that; rather he becomes a pariah by his own actions. If one builds a structure that is offensive to virtually all of one’s neighbors, and those neighbors have proven themselves tolerant in many diverse ways, in some cases for generations, then one cannot complain of being mistreated.

To pity the Zoias would involve some bizarre logic, indeed. Mr. Handlin would have us believe that the Zoias’ abutters are the King James of this world, while Mr. Zoia holds his musket, fighting off the colonialists, righteous in his pursuit of freedom. Ha! The simple fact is, Mr. Handlin, many can’t stand what you built. Live with it.

Joel Harrison

Brooklyn, N.Y.