Summer activities get into full swing at the Chappaquiddick Community Center this week. Check the website or bulletin boards for details. They really do offer something for everyone.

The parking ticket officers have been making daily forays to Chappy. They are even keeping an eye on cars parked more than 24 hours in the dirt lot. They take those parking regulation signs very literally. By the time the Gazette comes out the new line painting at the point will be done. A lot of thought has gone into the layout of the parking spaces. If there’s something about the layout that you would have done differently, just remember that everything in life requires compromise.

The Pied Piper started its summer schedule on Friday, June 26 with four round trips per day and an extra Friday evening run. Some folks with nerves of steel have gotten into the habit already of waiting until the actual last minute to get to the Chappy Ferry to catch the Pied Piper. Occasionally I have radioed over to ask them to wait just two more minutes while we bring the daring stragglers over. But when the skipper isn’t in the pilothouse when I call over he won’t hear me.

Slipaway Farm is on its second serving of CSA produce this week. Last week we got the most delicious edible pod peas. I couldn’t stop eating them. Drop by the farm stand. I guarantee that they have something that you need.

Gail Rodney has solved your problem for what to get your friends next Christmas. With the help of Jan Pogue of Vineyard Stories she has produced a lovely book titled A Martha’s Vineyard and Chappy Sketch Book. Her delightful watercolors are accompanied by quotes from illustrious locals. Many months ago Jan sent out a request to some of we verbose and philosophical types to answer the question, “What is it that we like so much about the Island.” I said something about how I like water, it being wet and all. She used my quote. My mom will be so proud. The books are for sale at Slipaway.

Other than in various Gazette publications, the only other time that I was quoted in a book was way back in the seventies while working on Pimpneymouse Farm. Edo showed me the controls of the John Deere tractor and pointed out the plow and harrow. She told me what she had observed when others pulled a plow through the soil and turned me loose. Looking back, I think that I had a natural talent for getting stuck. Her brother-in-law Bud Slater took pity on me and explained the mechanics of plowing and the tricks for turning over a thick piece of sod in a neat and tidy fashion. Then he let me in on the secrets of harrowing to get a nice smooth but loose surface. He was slightly dismayed when he saw me making graceful diagonal patterns across the field for my own amusement. But upon learning that I was a salaried farmhand and not being paid by the hour he just smiled and said in his deep voice, “Well it’s a small field anyway.”

The equipment that I had to work with was old and worn and required constant greasing. The shafts and bearings of the harrow rollers were so worn that the only reason the grease stayed in was that it mixed with the dirt to form a paste. Milton Jeffers said that rebuilding the shafts and replacing the bearings would cost more than a new harrow. “Keep putting the grease to her,” he advised, “and any new equipment that you get; make sure that greasing is the first thing you do everyday”.

At that time I had a subscription to Scientific American magazine. There was an advertisement one month looking for submissions of axioms and adages for a book that was in the making called 1,001 Logical Laws, Accurate Axioms, Profound Principles, Trusty Truisms, Homey Homilies, Colorful Corollaries, Quotable Quotes and Rambunctious Ruminations For All Walks Of Life. It was to be illustrated by George Booth and the reward for getting your submission included was a free book. Your axiom had to be original and also have a title. After working with old worn machinery and hearing Milton’s negative prognosis for repairs I came up with the following; “The Machinists Law of Diminishing Dimensions: Grease is cheaper than steel.” It was accepted for print and I got a free book.

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