It will come as no surprise to regular readers that the town of Oak Bluffs was the first on Martha’s Vineyard with airplanes. On July 15, 1919, two arrived from the Navy base at Chatham — one landed at the steamship dock and the other at the Inkwell. Both were Curtiss Seagulls, hydroplanes or sea planes as we now call them. Ten days later another landed in Oak Bluffs harbor, becoming the first charter flight as they brought in East Chop’s Melvin B. Miller and Myron J. Brown, both tired of the long train ride from Manhattan. They were Wall Streeters and Mr. Fuller, an amateur pilot, told the press he was planning to buy the plane for weekend trips to the Vineyard and fly it himself. The plane tied up at the Wesley House pier to the applause of bystanders. The following day the pilot took passengers two at a time on sightseeing flights. Indeed, East Chop’s Carroll Allston shared a picture with me of his grandfather and father at the Inkwell looking at the plane with the handwritten inscription, “$10.00 for 10 minutes.” At a dinner at the Wesley House Hotel, Mr. Fuller compared a trip to the Island in his sloop taking four days with the plane trip taking two-and-a-half hours, including the stop for fuel in New Haven. The story was written in the Vineyard News by one Eugene O’Neill, the weekend guest of Miss Priscilla Hand, soon to become famous himself. The following year his first full-length play, ironically titled On the Horizon, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. He and Miss Hand shared a ride and were among the 74 who took the short flight to see the Island from a thousand feet. The Fuller plane returned to New York that Monday but three other hydroplanes arriving from Chatham’s Navy base landed the following day to show the public the new form of transportation. On Sunday, Sept. 8, my now 60-year-old childhood playmate Lance Slaughter

was honored with a gold medal at the Vineyard Warrior Triathlon for swimming a mile, running six miles and riding 25 miles on a bike. He also received a gold medal at the Nantucket Hero Triathlon in July, and has become sponsored by Synergy Sports who makes wet suits, racing bikes and wheels. Congratulations to Lance, who was once a summer cop on Circuit avenue and who has a fabulous picture of himself with President Richard Nixon.

If you were wondering about the mouthwatering Thai food that used to be served at the Ritz, Ms. Pissamai Silarak is now catering as a private chef. You can contact her at 508-627-5481 or email her at

Holly Alaimo, curator of the upcoming Martha’s Vineyard Wind Festival in Ocean Park on Saturday, Oct. 12, alerts us that the 2013 poster by artist Traeger di Pietro is available for sale to raise funds for breast cancer research. Posters are $20 and shipped for an additional $10. For more information, check Get those kites ready! Tivoli Day this year combined great weather with a huge crowd and better organization with bands in the middle and at the south end of Circuit avenue. There was plenty of seating for eating from beginning to end of the celebration. Oak Bluffs’ Association honcho Christine Todd did a fabulous job, and was kind enough to credit Dennis DaRosa for the great work we all know she did. At Jena’s Ring Challenge at the Flying Horses Saturday the first place in the mini division was won by Silas Vohzry with eight rings in five rides, Jena’s cousin Devon Harding from Barnstable won the junior division with 12 rings in five rides. Ian Chickering won the adult division with 38 rings in seven rides on some of which he probably grabbed six or seven. I’m pretty sure the record is eight. Jena’s Ring Challenge raised over $9,000 for high school scholarships in its first two years and 2013 looks like another good one. Congratulations and thank you to Terry and David Pothier. The portable trailers of emergency generators have been removed from the highway department suggesting that the threat of hurricanes and summer heat has moved south. I’m not sure I’ll ever get comfortable with the industrial strength power poles lining Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road. They remind me of the catenaries lining US 95 above the Amtrak railroad tracks in New Haven.

The newly planted grasses at the roundabout hopefully won’t grow too tall. A fountain would have been nice, though – maybe lit in red at night.

Keep your foot on a rock.