Nostalgia is bitter sweet by definition and a burden one would just as soon not experience like last week when I found that Mary’s Linen is no more, replaced by a T-shirt shop some other nice ladies have opened in its place.

The loss of Mary’s Linen is a poignant reminder of just how long it’s been since, as Arthur C. Clarke’s book was named, Childhood’s End was for me. Literally, since 1948 Mary’s Linen has symbolized the only place in the world I’ve known where one could go in and actually buy a doily. Granite sells towels and table cloths, curtains and napkins and it’s not like one can’t find a doily online in an emergency like the time I used one to keep model car paint off the dining room table. That’s when I found out about doilies; my Mom’s screech clarifying how valuable they were.

As it turned out, back in the 1950s when folks bought those now cherished but then abandoned looking homes in today’s Cottage City Historic District, the furniture and accessories came with it. Over time the folks carefully tossed out the dust collecting wicker furniture and threadbare sheets but not that linen-laced doily that graced the half-round end table in the dining room which may have been there since the 1870s when the house was first furnished.

That attention to detail was possibly how my Mom knew to tell me to go to Mary’s Linen and find another white linen doily that as closely as possible resembled the one I had destroyed (and, dammit, take that one with me to be sure). I’m pretty sure it was Mary Tucelli herself who, seeing the damage, was as mad as Mom. For years after Mary died in 1986, her daughters Celia, Ann and Elena Iacoviello operated the store. Celia and Ann would be well into their nineties and Elena not far behind. None of the sisters had children so it’s understandable why they may have sold the store after almost 70 years.

We called their Dad, Angelo, the vegetable man and his house garden cornering Pocasset and Uncas avenues had the best tomatoes in the world—and that’s not just nostalgia. In a Martha’s Vineyard Magazine article from 2008 Shelley Christensen noted that the Tucelli’s sold the first Martha’s Vineyard T-shirts so I’ll wish the new owners of what was Mary’s Linen the best. Shelley wrote, “If meatloaf is comfort food, Mary’s was a comfort store.”

That’s another thing about nostalgia, one thought leads to another. Meatloaf reminds me of Mary Giosmas’ whose was the best ever. Mary, with her husband Bill and sons Jimmy and George, owned the Captain’s Table Diner. The Vineyarder Burger served until 2 a.m. until the diner closed was also the best in the world. Mary and my Mom and the other beach Moms were all friends, but I’m pretty sure Aunt Mary was the only one who actually knew how to make lace tablecloths, the table covering sized doilies. Born in 1917 she died in 2004.

I know it’s a completely emotional issue on my part but nostalgia is more bitter than sweet when it comes to reminders of people and things past.

Beetlebung’s espresso bar is open and the restaurant opens June 7. Beetlebung is introducing Indian food to the menu accompanying their Thai drunken noodles that were featured in last month’s Cape Code Life best recipes issue. John and Rene Molinaro look forward to welcoming you back.

The new Martha’s Vineyard Center for the Visual Arts is located in what was Pik Nik on Dukes County avenue in the Arts District. The new non-profit has a goal of assisting 12 Island artists work as a cooperative gallery. Renee Balter’s, Randi Sylvia’s and others work will be found there. More information is on their website at

Caroline Hunter and some other Polar Bears were in the water last Friday acting like Canadians. That water’s cold!

Speaking of nostalgia and things past or almost past, on June 16 I will have been your scribe for exactly five years. This seems to be a timeframe that practicality suggests has been long enough. The June 16 column will be my last edition. More on that later, but for now this column isn’t going to write itself. If it is something you might like to do please send a note to our editor Julia Wells at

Enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend.

Keep your foot on a rock.

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