Captain Bob Gilkes has retired from the Chappy ferry after faithfully driving the ferryboats for two decades, through fair weather and foul. The ferry crew will be hosting the Chappy Community Center potluck on Wednesday, June 1 as a testimonial to honor Captain Bob’s years of service to the Chappy community. Appetizers begin at 6 p.m. with the dinner bell ringing at 6:30. Please bring a dish to serve six. All are welcome.

The Slip Away farmstand will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting this weekend. The fields at the farm are already alive with this year’s crop. The irrigation well for the Wasque Farm annex of Slip Away has been installed. You’ve seen the bumper stickers that say, “No farms, no food.” It is no stretch to expand that phrase to read, “No water, no farms, no food”! Thanks to all who helped make the new well a reality.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Two important events occur right along with this momentary three-day taste of summer. First the good news. The Chappaquiddick ferry goes onto the summer operating schedule. As of Thursday, May 26 the ferry will operate continuously from 6:45 a.m. through midnight.

Along with the holiday weekend comes an influx of automobiles. That brings me to the not-so-good news. The parking regulations throughout Edgartown, including the Chappy Point parking lot, will now be enforced. So you will want to obey the time limits posted on the signs. At the ferry, four hours is the limit for parking on the paved lot. Twenty-four hours is the time limit for the dirt lot. I’m not sure how that is interpreted by the enforcing officers, but I do know that the original idea behind the twenty-four hour limit was that cars wouldn’t be parked down there for days on end while the owner is off-island. That 24-hour time frame makes it possible to park overnight. Now, you are certainly welcome to blame the messenger (me) on this one, but I’m really just trying to help you to avoid getting and paying a parking ticket. I personally don’t care how long or where you park your car, but the officers of the Edgartown Police Department are bound to do their duty and they are starting now.

According to my allergy-prone friends, this has been a banner year for airborne pollen. Every plant and grass that produces allergens has apparently doubled production this spring. The positive side of that might be that fruit and honey are more abundant. We had a very mild winter. The tick population seems to have exploded. That is hearsay from folks who have dogs and who would know better than a dog owner? The poison ivy looks particularly lush again this year. The shadbush held their blossoms for less than a week. One windy day the air was so filled with the tiny white petals I had the impression that a snowstorm was in the offing.

Folks have been asking if the ferry shack on the Chappy side will remain in its current location for the summer. It will eventually be returned to its previous location. When the boys picked it up with the excavator boom to clear the way for the bulkhead repairs I was sure that the floor would stay behind while the rest of the building rose into the air. It is almost a miracle that the rusted nails holding that structure together are still sufficiently strong. I’m guessing that there are lots of them.

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