For a little over a month the ferryboat On Time III has been hauled out of the water in Vineyard Haven for maintenance and Coast Guard inspection. If the weather cooperates, she will be relaunched by the end of this week and if the weather permits she will make the voyage back to Edgartown over the weekend and return to service on Monday. It’s always a nerve-wracking time for me when there is just one ferry in service. Redundancy is the key word in the ferry operation and we work hard to avoid dependence on a single piece of equipment. But the On Time II has performed flawlessly thanks to all of the preventive TLC she receives from the maintenance team of Erik Gilley and George Fisher.

The 2016 Chappy Community Center calendars are available for purchase at the CCC. If you see Lynn’s car there, that’s your chance to stop in and buy a pile of them. You can also print out an order form from the CCC website. The proceeds from the sales go towards maintaining the building. What better holiday gift for your distant relatives who came to visit last summer and took you out for dinner? Every Chappy college student should have one on the wall over their desk.

Fundraising for the CCC is by necessity continuous. Please consider a year-end donation. It will look good on your taxes and on your resume. For you folks who shop online, if you use Amazon Smile they will make a donation to a nonprofit of your choice. You can specify The Chappaquiddick Community Center.

Once again the community center was filled to capacity for the annual Chappy Ferry Captain and Crew Appreciation Potluck Dinner. Liz Villard’s ever-expanding slide show included photos of this year’s new crew members. She also added photos of many of the ferry’s regular patrons. The surprised expressions on their faces are particularly precious.

Mark your calendar for the holiday tea at the CCC on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. hosted by Joanne Brine. Bring the family and friends for tea, sandwiches and goodies. There will be a children’s crafts table. Joanne is looking for help with set-up and cleanup. Please contact her by email at if you would like to help out or even bring some of those sandwiches and goodies.

The annual Christmas Eve dinner will be on Thursday, Dec. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Please call or email the CCC to let them know what you would like to bring or to find out what they need you to bring. Phone 508-627-8222 or email This gathering on the night before Christmas always reawakens my childhood memories of this season.

During this weekend, the Geminid meteor showers reach their peak. Four meteors per minute are not uncommon. I hesitate to make the following suggestion because I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone ending up locked out of the house at 2 a.m. in their pajamas, but that is actually the best time to step outside to see them.

In years past at Christmastime the community chorus sang Handel’s Messiah. When it was no longer offered I searched off-Island for a performance. Sally and I went to Providence to hear the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Providence Singers in the glorious setting of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and have been attending for the last several years. We dress up. Sally always looks fabulous but you wouldn’t recognize me. I’m often mistaken for an usher.

During the intermission I happened to see Chappaquiddicker Stanley Goldstein still seated and engrossed in conversation with nearby concert attendees. I had a sudden impulse to take advantage of the misconception that I was an auditorium official. Stanley has a great sense of humor, though he seems to prefer the Zeppo Marx role. He was sitting in the third seat in from the aisle. I snuck up on him, reached over the first two people in the row, grasped him by the lapel, and said authoritatively, “Okay Goldstein, let’s go. I thought I made it clear last time.” He broke out in an ear-to-ear grin but his fellow seatmates were wide-eyed and speechless. After a few moments, I said, “Aw heck, its Christmas. Stay until the end of the performance.” We then had a great time explaining to the others how and where we knew one another, but they still seemed a little unsure of both Stanley and me.

Send Chappy news to