Folks have been asking about the Chappy ferry service for Christmas Day. The operating schedule for that day is steeped in tradition. Many decades ago the ferry operated many fewer hours than it does now. Even in the late 1970s John Willoughby and Dick Hewitt would break for lunch. They took a whole hour off and if they ran until ten past noon to clear up the line, they wouldn’t come back until ten past one. John used to say, “It’s up to you folks when I start my hour off, but it will be an hour.”

Back then on Christmas day and as well as on New Years day the ferry ran only upon request by calling John or Dick and telling them when you wanted to go over. If they already had an appointment for 10 a.m. they would tell the folks who asked for a 10:30 or 11 a.m. trip to bunch up and come at 10 a.m. with the others.

The reason that I’m telling you all of this before I get to the part about the ferry schedule for this upcoming Christmas Day is that I want to conjure up your sense of tradition and yearning for the good old days of a simpler time.

Eventually, as more people settled year-round on Chappaquiddick and more summer folks came for the holidays, the old system of calling to request a trip evolved into service every hour on the hour since that’s how it turned out anyway. These days there are so many people out and about on Christmas day afternoon that by the time the ferry captain gets everyone across who queued up on the hour there is no time to go home anyway.

So in order not to let another precious tradition slip unnoticed from our lives, below is the ferry schedule for Christmas Day 2015.

Trips on the hour in the morning at 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Please be there a few minutes before the hour. Regular continuous ferry service begins at noon. Come any time that you please. The night schedule is the usual winter schedule. On New Years day the ferry operates on the normal winter schedule.

For those of you who feel that we are giving up too easily on maintaining an age-old important cultural tradition I have to apologize. Last year I posted a sign indicating service on the hour all day with the night service normal. The afternoon captain ended up staying down there the entire shift. Times are changing! It is nice to see so many folks here for the holidays. I know of several who plan to be on Chappy for two weeks. Used to be that after Labor Day the Chappy shoreline was dark except for maybe one or two lights. Now every holiday there are dozens of houses lit up.

Just one more reminder about the annual Christmas Eve potluck dinner on Thursday, Dec. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Chappy Community Center. Please email or call Lynn at the CCC to let her know what you would like to bring or to find out what is needed. Phone 508-627-8222 or email At any rate, bring a dish for six.

As in the past the Harbor View Hotel will put on a New Years Eve fireworks display at midnight. The barge anchors right next to the Edgartown Lighthouse. Well worth dragging yourself out of bed for.

You know that it’s the middle of the off-season on Chappaquiddick when a topic of discussion is that ferry captain Brad Fligor is growing a beard. He got started on this project partly because he didn’t want to shave over his healing split lip. Last week he bumped into a two by four that was lashed to the roof rack of a car and sticking out beyond the bumper by several feet. Brad was preoccupied in doing his other duties and when he turned around there was the very square and sharp edged end of the two by four right where Brad’s upper lip needed to be. The lumber prevailed and Brad ended up at the emergency room. Rather than stitching up they glued him back together. There are all kinds of MassDOT rules about things sticking out beyond your vehicle bumpers. We are pretty good at avoiding knocking our shins on trailer hitches but we would really appreciate a flag on the end of the overhanging lumber.