So far Sue and Jerry Wacks have been winning the staring contest they are engaged in with Mother Nature. Their house remains intact at the moment in its ringside seat overlooking the Wasque opening. The placement of sandbags at the foot of the bluff has been very effective. The pines and oaks that have fallen onto the beach have remained intact in this area that is less subject to wave action, and are helping to protect the bank as well. I would say that neither packing up the furniture nor removing the propane tanks counts as a blink. That just shows good common sense but I imagine they would pay plenty for a genuine crystal ball right now.

I have the pleasure of announcing that Chappy ferry captains Becca Hamilton and Jeff LaMarche are engaged to be married on Oct. 18. They promise to produce a crew of new ferry deckhands for the future.

Marvene and Bob O’Rourke will be the hosts for the next Chappy Community Center potluck on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Hors d’oeuvres and gossip begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30. Potlucks are scheduled for the first and third Wednesdays of each month during the off-season. We still have gaps in the host sign-up list. Hosting takes no more time than preparing a potluck dish. You just need to be there a quarter of an hour early with refreshments and appetizers as fancy or as simple as you like, and to make sure that the tables are arranged. We’ll help with the cleanup. Sign up at the next potluck or call Lynn at the CCC office, 508-627-8222.

During the last two snowstorms the Chappy roadways were kept open overnight by Mike Hathaway behind the wheel of a baby blue town plow. Mike hails from the Edgartown’s harbormaster department. During the warmer months you will see him out on the water, maintaining the town’s moorings and operating the pump-out boat. Also during those storms, an ambulance was housed at the Chappy fire house in case the high winds and flooding tides prevented the ferry from operating.

I hope that you plan to come to the Chappy ferry open forum at the CCC at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. This is an opportunity for the wintertime community to share our thoughts on the present ferry service, as well as to consider what we envision for the future. The suggestion boxes have arrived and are now attached to both of the ferry houses. You can also contact me by email at or my cell phone at 508-627-1577. Remember in an emergency, always call 911 or 508-693-1212.

Here’s something to ponder: before the breach of Norton Point in the spring of 2007, tickets for vehicles were good for one way only. Even those paying round trip from the Edgartown side were given a receipt for the return trip. Tickets were collected each way. After it became clear that the opening would exist for a long while, the ferry switched to round-trip tickets with fares collected upon departure from town. This arrangement has been efficient and has helped to speed things up. But in the future when the opening seals up and Norton Point forms a drivable land bridge to Martha’s Vineyard again, some travelers won’t be riding the ferry both ways. Does anyone have ideas for alternatives to one-way tickets?

When the new tide books are issued I first look to see what day of the week the 4th of July falls on and what the tide will be doing during the fireworks. This year Independence Day is on a Friday, which usually makes for a pretty wild three-day weekend. On the upside this year, the tide will be falling throughout the evening giving the fireworks watchers along the ferry point shore more beach as the show progresses. Some years the rising tide has pushed the folks right up into the beach grass. There must have been a lot of surprised ticks riding back to town that night.

Each week I look forward to getting my hands on the new edition of the Gazette. Even before I open it up to admire my own column, I turn first to the very last page and read the last two paragraphs of Lynn Irons’ column. She expresses her viewpoint on the political issue of the week. Whether it be public health, economic, agricultural or environmental, I relish her down-to-earth and straightforward summaries. I’m certain that this week, given the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, that she will mention the minimum wage.

Following the speech, we heard one commentator say that a decent minimum wage was not really very important to the overall economy of the nation since it affected so few. That reminded me of the story of the little boy who had gone outside after a rainstorm and found that hundreds of worms had been driven out of the saturated ground onto the sidewalk. As the sun came out and began drying the surface of the concrete, the worms were unable to wiggle back to the lawn and they began to dry out as well. The little boy began to pick them up one by one and place them on the moist grass. A passing gentleman observed this activity and said to the boy as he laid another worm on the lawn, “There’s too many of them for you to save, it won’t make any difference.” The boy replied cheerfully, “It will make a big difference to this one!”