As the 69th MV Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby draws to a close I like to review the leader boards for the names of Chappy fishermen. We were well represented during the five weeks of fishing. Daily winners in stripped bass or bluefish categories from shore were Versie Geary, Ernie Dewing, Peter Sliwkowski, Colin Floyd and Jay Hunter. Repeat appearances were made by Stephan Pond, Tom Barber and Jack Livingston.

As of Wednesday noon, Richard Schifter held the grand slam spot for fly rod from a boat, catching all four species with the greatest total weight. I don’t do a lot of fishing, but my brother says that after you have grown tired of catching fish with treble hook lures and live bait, you get yourself a fly rod. You’re more likely to come home empty-handed, but if you do hook onto something it will be very exciting!

The last weigh-in is Saturday evening at 10 p.m. with the awards ceremony the next day at Farm Neck Golf Club under the big tent at 1 p.m. The level of anxiety must be pretty high for the Grand Leaders with a pick-up truck and motorboat at stake. But let’s not forget that last June the derby awarded $30,000 in scholarships to the MVRHS graduating class.

The Slip Away Farm Fall Festival two Saturdays ago was well attended. One Chappy kid literally immersed himself in his endeavors at the apple-bobbing tub. I believe he may have gotten out of his Saturday night bath. It occurs to me that generations ago perhaps such a fall activity may have served the purpose of getting a summer’s worth of dirt out from behind the ears of small children in preparation for the new school year.

The potluck dinners at the CCC are scheduled for the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Gossip and heated debate begins at 6 p.m. with buffet line elbowing commencing at 6:30 p.m. I’m just kidding. I don’t want to scare off our new Chappy winter folks. We are actually quite civilized. Nonetheless, if you’re not there to set us straight we’ll just have to jump to conclusions on our own. Please bring enough of your chosen dish to serve half a dozen. Call Lynn at 508-627-8222 to sign up for hosting spots in 2015.

The CCC calendars are being printed up at this very moment and will become available at the Calendar and Craft Sale on Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend. At the moment the giving for the $25,000 matching fund stands at $13,300. The deadline is Dec. 31. This is a good chance to double your money!

I’m giving you a one-month warning that the next household hazardous waste collection will take place at the Edgartown Transfer Station on Saturday, Nov. 15, between 9 a.m. and noon. This is your chance to properly dispose of fluorescent bulbs, which contain mercury.

The heavy rains of late have begun to refill our island ponds and incite the lawn grass to grow again. The maples and beetlebungs are putting on a dazzling show. It’s a lesson in life that each year these giants who survive every challenge — from blazing sun to hurricane downpours — shed their life-giving leaves. Already many oaks have succumbed to the attack of the bud wasp larvas. The stark yet graceful skeletons of these dead trees have a beauty all their own. To a woodpecker they must look like a lunch wagon. Except where falling rotten limbs would crash down on the cars or the kids, I’m leaving some of my apparently dead trees standing for the moment.

Regarding the impending horror of depending on one ferryboat while the other is hauled out of the water for its biennial Coast Guard hull inspection and maintenance; as of Wednesday noon we were still awaiting the return of the marine railway carriage from off-island. Most likely the On Time 2 will head for Vineyard Haven early next week. That leaves just the On Time 3 to handle all of the traffic flow alone. Give yourself a little extra time when going to appointments or to catch the big ferry. I’ll put up a sign at the ferry the minute that I know the exact day of departure.

With the end of the fishing derby comes the beginning of the Chappy ferry winter schedule. Starting on Sunday, Oct. 19, the abbreviated off-season evening hours go into effect, but with an additional half hour of service. Instead of the traditional dinner break starting at 7:30 p.m., the ferry will continue to run until 8 p.m.

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