From the Vineyard Gazette editions of Nov. 1971:

Until killing frosts ravage the scarlet cranberries in Manuel S. Duarte’s six-acre bog at Cranberry Acres off Lambert’s Cove Road, there is profuse picking for industrious jelly and sauce makers. The public has been invited to help themselves.

This is the second year that Mr. Duarte has not harvested the berries and shipped them off to an Ocean Spray plant. Two mechanical pickers, a three-wheeled truck which gathers the boxes, scoops, separating machines and necessary tools have stood idle. He hopes to start up his small industry again, however, once he finds helpers willing to work the bogs, cultivating, weeding, fertilizing and picking.

As with farms, the Island once had many bogs under cultivation, but which were gradually discontinued because of labor shortages. Nevertheless, cranberries still abound here. And these days, circulating Island roads, a sharp-eyed driver can spot many an up-turned bottom as pickers stoop to pluck the low-lying berry. Indeed, many have been planning ahead for the sauces, jellies and perhaps even pies that will help fill their tables on Thanksgiving.

Oil rigs may be operating off the shores of New England early in 1973. And this means that the shores of Nantucket and the Vineyard could be oil-soaked just in time for the summer of 1973. Georges Banks, some 30 miles from Nantucket, source of a major part of the world’s supply of fish, is one of the areas with “priority” for leasing to oil interests. There are at present no effective safeguards against oil spills, or any method of clean-up except rakes and shovels.

Though wayfarers down below may have noticed it, the giant pagoda tree ­— sophora Japonica — on the premises of the Harborside Inn at Edgartown has had a wonderful year. The profusion of yellow blossoms, delicately formed rather like the blossoms of the pea, hung in sprays throughout the lofty tree last summer, above the heads of passersby on South Water street.

Now the flowers have given way to delicate pods, and the pods contain seeds which can readily be propagated. The Harborside tree already has a number of progeny on the Vineyard. The great tree at Edgartown was brought back in a flower pot by Capt. Thomas Milton in 1837. It flourished , as all can see, and its fame has traveled far. The pagoda tree is one of the lesser-known pod-bearers. Its form and foliage alike make it desirable for general planting.

The lore of the beetlebung tree continues to grow. It has been said that the trees were brought and planted by the Vikings. This imaginative story about the Vikings is undoubtedly one more chapter in the annals of the beetlebungs and the grove at Beetlebung Corner. Aside from their traditional Island name, the trees are, of course, tupelos or Nyssa Sylvatica, no different from tupelos elsewhere.

A special town meeting has been called in Oak Bluffs for Thursday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. Six articles ask for transfers of money, totaling $22,850, to meet overexpenditures in various accounts and unforeseen increases in the insurance rate.

The sum of $1,200 is asked for additional insurance for town buildings and $950 for additional insurance for town-owned vehicles. Article 3 seeks a $17,000 transfer from surplus revenue to be used for beach erosion. The sanitary landfill at the town dump is costing more than estimated, in the sum of $2,500, also to be taken from surplus revenue.

Another $200 is to be taken from surplus to cover additional assessors’ expenses, and in the last article, $1,000 is to be transferred from the unexpended balance in the bulkhead construction account to be used for dredging in Sengekontacket.

A large area of Noman’s Land was swept by fire Tuesday night, when a flare dropped by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard failed to go out before it struck the ground, and was left burning. The conflagration, which burned between three and four hours, emblazoning the sky until almost midnight, was described as a “holocaust that was dreadful to watch.” Residents of Gay Head watched the fire through the evening hours and were unable to obtain any information as to the cause of the fire.

A spokesman from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station said that the National Guard unit had been flying small spotter aircraft, a pair of their practice to “maintain a proficiency in spotting geographic terrain and in search and rescue operations.” A flare was dropped to light the bombing area, according to the Navy report, and even though it did not extinguish itself as flares customarily do, the Air National Guardsmen left the scene at 6 p.m. “with a small fire burning.”

Compiled by Alison Mead