Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

There I was, relishing my steamed lobster on special at the Net Result picnic table on gorgeous, brilliant June 1. In point of fact, I was a tad too enthusiastic about that cute crustacean, what with it being my first day of a months-long staycation, so I stupidly gulped entirely too much too prematurely. And there I was, essentially and shockingly over with. Completely stoppered up. Choked. Unable to breathe at all. Panicked, I tried to swallow water, but could not swallow at all. With water dribbling over my front, I rushed inside, waving my hands frantically over my head, trying to voice, “Heimlich, heimlich,” barely audible what with zero air available to push the words out.

Up stepped my life saver. This man looked me in the eye, said “Heimlich?” I nodded ferociously, desperately. He dropped his things, turned me around, performed the maneuver, and out, as they say, popped the (it seemed) nearly golf-ball sized offender.

Hal Child is that man’s name, a lovely local of West Tisbury. To sing his praises, to warble “thank you” from that moment to infinity seems so inadequate, so feeble a gesture. Hal, you most assuredly saved my life. That pretty pink perfection of the sea was very nearly my last meal, but for your divine intervention. I plan to pay it forward. Never will I ever forget you.

God bless you, Hal Child.

P.S. In most careful ecstasy, I polished off the remaining lobster.

Lyn Kerns, Vineyard Haven