If you are planning to attend the Chappy Community Center Christmas Eve dinner this coming Saturday evening please call Lynn Martinka at 508-627-8222 to offer to bring a specific dish or to find out what is needed. Dinner is from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome. A lovely Christmas tree has been donated anonymously to the CCC. When you come to the dinner see if you can figure out which species it is. It came from far away off-Island and defies identification by the tree book.

My granddaughter and I drove to Boston last Sunday for a performance of Bach Christmas compositions. They weren’t at all your usual English Christmas carols. Rather they were pretty serious Saxony compositions sung in German. The instrumental accompaniment was fabulous and the beauty of Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory decorated for the holidays was wonderful. We both dozed off a couple of times during the first half of the concert. Coming in from the cold and wet, over-dressed for being indoors and the steady cadence of the music lulled us to sleep. At the intermission, we hopped up and explored the many levels of the NEC. There is a lot going on there. Students everywhere carrying instrument cases. We passed rooms in which people were fiddling so rapidly it sounded as if an old 33-1/3 LP record was being played at 78 RPM. In another a woman was hitting falsetto notes high enough to break glass. A note on the private restroom doors admonished music students not to use them for practice. The second half was very lively and we stayed fully awake.

Once again I spoke too soon regarding the completion of the dirt parking area project at the point. The highway department has many other responsibilities and projects going on all at once all of the time. Fortunately this time of year there are only a few cars parked at the ferry point and they are all easily accommodated in the recently repaved portion of the lot. But I imagine that folks who were adamant about leaving the dirt part unpaved will be eager to put the plastic grid and gravel surface to the test.

Just a few decades ago when Chappaquiddick Island was less populated in the winter and there were many fewer construction projects, the Chappy Ferry took a holiday on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. When I first started driving in 1974, the ferry was on call for those two days. As the odd man out then, I was appointed holiday driver so that Dick Hewitt and John Willoughby could be home all day with their families. People would call me at home or talk to me the day before to schedule a trip. Most of the traffic was concentrated around noon and dinner time. When I say traffic, it was maybe two cars over and back at each of those times. Little by little, more folks were around for the holidays and we dispensed with the phone calls and just went down every hour on the hour. New Year’s Day was pretty much just like any other when it fell on a week day and after making perhaps four round trips to take over the accumulated vehicles, there was no time left to go home so we just stayed for the whole shift and eventually we ran the regular winter schedule that day. Christmas Day is also getting busier but it’s still very quiet during the morning so we run just on the hour. By noon there’s usually enough traffic that we go back to continuous operation. Remember when you yearn for the good old days, that included a whole lot less ferry service.

To sum up: the Chappy Ferry will observe a remnant of the age old traditional Christmas Day schedule as follows. In the morning the ferry will operate only on the hour, that is 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m. to take across any vehicles that are in line at that hour. Starting at noon the ferry will run the normal daily winter schedule, that is, continuously until 8 p.m., then 9 to 10 p.m. and finally 11 to 11:15 p.m.

Send Chappy news to peterchappyferry@gmail.com.