Stepping outside my door the other day I noticed a huge transport plane passing overhead just above the tree tops. I hadn’t seen anything that size since my visit to Dubai where they land one after another full of “special personnel” on their way to Kuwait, Kabul and Kandahar. But why here? The president is long gone and why was it crossing over Barnes Road and how did it make that 45-degree turn onto the airport runway without flying over the high school?

Most Vineyarders know that the predecessor to the airport was the naval air force base built during WW II. But only real Vineyarders will know that prior to the naval base that space was a huge meadow, and meeting and breeding grounds for both the heath hen and the white-footed mouse. (The Secret History of Martha’s Vineyard, Cornelius Leonaitis, Olde Concord Press, 1934).

Unfortunately, the heath hen was not the swiftest of game birds both physically and mentally. If it sensed danger it would squat, like a young child might close his eyes and assume that he couldn’t be seen, and soon became dinner for five at the nearest fox den. By contrast, your average Vermont chicken will flap frantically and furiously with a lot of sound and fury but with little aerodynamic finesse to reach the tallest tree branch or nearby roof until the fox sweep had completely swept by.

Fox, both grey and red, had played an important role in reducing the number of white-footed mice on the Island. The heath hen might be their meat and potatoes but the mouse was more like an after dinner mint or chocolate covered truffle. Feral and domestic cats also feed on mice but they prefer less elusive prey like pheasant, quail and nesting song birds. The fox has been eradicated and brought back on several occasions, the last being just before World War II. Credit to their removal goes to the various up-Island fox hunt and steeplechase clubs who with help from fox hounds transported from the north shore, near the polo grounds, swere instrumental in the foxes demise.

All these foxes and their kits disappeared at a time when Lillian Hellman was still an active summer resident. There were no reports of Lyme-type symptoms in that period. Due to the exponential growth in air flights, the airport, in the name of progress, will be forced to expand down to the tennis bubble and across to Old County Road and the fire station taking everything in its way by eminent domain. Watch towers will be built in the four corners with lasers ready to vaporize any drone that wanders over any airport air space.

Motels, Cape-Cod style, with high-end boutiques to meet the needs of the arriving cosmopolitans will face Edgartown-West Tisbury Road with traffic lights spaced every 100 yards or so. A Seattle-like tower with revolving restaurant will sit at the entrance to the airport. Below, a large dance hall and bar is envisioned. Johnny Taylor and his hilltop, hip-hop polka band has already been booked for New Year’s Eve. Ticket sales are brisk.

John Crelan lives in a small houseboat on the Lagoon in that space between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven that is tax-exempt.