Sad news that Chappy’s Gerry Jeffers has passed. It won’t be the same without him. That’s often said on someone’s passing, but he was a part of Chappy that made our little island different. How many places still exist like the UPS shed that he ran? You’d walk in, exchange the predictable greetings: “How’s it going?” “Can’t complain.” Cross your name off the list on his clipboard, take your package and wave goodbye. Simple living.

The Chappy store was his idea of essentials. He knew that most of us on Chappy really didn’t need much.

We tell an endearing story in my family about Gerry. He’d often help out on the ferry when he wasn’t driving the school bus or running the shop. I’d see him more than my husband Jeff because Jeff would seldom leave our end of Chappy, he was usually out fishing with the kids and his buddies, making sure he was bringing home the daily catch for dinner. On one occasion we were both in the car together and I rolled down my window to say hi to Gerry and hand him my ticket. We had been summering on the island for over 20 years, and I said, “Gerry, you know my husband Jeff, right?”

“Yeah, I seen him around.”

That’s all. No more than that.

We thought we’d be seeing you around a lot longer, Gerry.

Melinda Fager is a summer resident of Chappaquiddick.