On New Year’s Day the Chappy ferry operates on the normal winter schedule. If you believe that you are up to staying out after midnight talk to Captain Bob on your way to the party. He will work out an arrangement to accommodate your desires. We have learned from experience that it has to be “pay up front with no refunds.”

Don’t forget the New Year’s Eve fireworks display at midnight put on by the Harbor View Hotel. The fireworks barge anchors next to the Edgartown lighthouse. It’s a good show with full-sized fireworks and it goes on for quite a while. Stick around afterward to watch the misfires get lit off by hand. It’s easy this time of year to find a place to park where you can watch from the warmth of your car.

The next Chappy Community Center potluck supper is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. The illustrious hosts are Nancy Slate and Dennis Goldin. Please bring a dish to serve six. The potlucks will continue twice monthly on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Call or email the CCC to sign up to be the host. It doesn’t require a whole lot of extra work on your part and you will have lots of help with the cleanup. I always hear the best gossip in the kitchen during the tidying up. 508-627-8222 or chappycc@verizon.net.

In a previous issue of the Gazette you would have read of the passing of Mary Tyler. I would like to add a few notes about her that did not appear in her obituary. Mary and her husband Zing lived at Pimpneymouse Farm many years ago in a house called Drake’s Nest. For many years their water came from the hand pump at the kitchen sink and gas mantle lamps provided their light. In the winter the kerosene stove kept most of the house above freezing. Of course there were no pipes to freeze at that time anyway. When nature called, day or night, no matter the weather, they had to make the journey to the outhouse at the far side of the yard. Bathing consisted of dumping a bucket of water over the head on the back porch.

The story goes that even after the house was plumbed and wired Mary continued to take her daily shower outdoors. My memory was that she didn’t bother with hot water but just used the garden hose. Not so bad in the summer, but she kept this up year round! That could explain, at least in part, her longevity.

She was a tough and outspoken person. I recall a conversation I had with her when one of the ferry captains was trying to quit smoking. I expressed admiration for a person undertaking such a difficult task. Mary said that she had quit after being a smoker for many years. I asked her if it had been hard. She said, “I loved smoking. The only reason I quit was to shut everybody up.”

Mary was an impressive sight in her jet black Thunderbird departing the ferry smoothly then accelerating rapidly up Chappy Road. One winter there was an injured black-backed gull hanging around the parking lot on Chappy Point. He was called BW (Broken Wing) by those who had found affection for him and had attempted to keep him alive with food scraps. Those who had been accosted by him as they crossed the parking lot on foot called him by more colorful names. He knew that humans were his source of nourishment and became pretty aggressive in going after his next meal. Black-backed gulls are big and scary coming at you beak agape with one wing flapping wildly and the other dragging along on the ground. Some of us were wishing that nature would take its course and relieve BW of his predicament. He must have grown accustomed to vehicles swerving to avoid him as he wandered about. One day he happened to be poised contemplatively right in the middle of the road, blending in with the background, as Mary glided off of the ferry and sped away in her Thunderbird. She hit BW dead center with a front tire and flattened him in an instant. I’m certain that she was unaware of what had happened and I know that she would have felt bad if she had, but I was thankful to her for painlessly sending BW to his aviary paradise in the blink of an eye.

Send Chappy news to peter@chappyferry.net.