Thanks to Bill Eville for putting together a Vineyard Gazette article which went far beyond the original request to write an article to make the elderly on the Island aware of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Alzheimer’s group program on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m., to include Ben and Paddy’s commitment to the Island in a number of different ways.
We both very much appreciated the article, plus the photographs by Mark Lovewell. We have had many emails and calls from friends and family.
The paragraph about Ben’s swimming talents and accomplishments was not true, much as I would like to have done it.
The story which was missing, perhaps because I had not told Bill about it, took place in the extreme winter of 1978 when all of the ponds on the Island froze as temperatures dropped to well below zero over an extended number of days. All the ponds were covered in a three-inch or more thickness of black ice.
I believe it was Stan Hart who suggested that we form a group to skate from one end of the Island to the other. It started in Gay Head (Aquinnah), and then went on to Squibnocket Pond, upper and lower Chilmark Ponds, Tisbury Great Pond, Long Cove Pond, Long Cove, Homer’s Pond, Watcha Pond and Oyster Pond (where you could skate nearly to the West Tisbury Road), Job’s Neck Pond and to the finish at the eastern end of Edgartown Great Pond. That is where I remember Mike Jacobs going through thin ice at the edge up to his armpits. We called it The Great Skate of 1978.