The Chappy ferries come and go

    In summer rush and winter snow

’Twixt Chappy isle and Edgartown,

     Dukes County’s seat of great renown.

They carry cars and trucks and folks

     And dogs and cats and fishing blokes

Bound for East Beach at Derby time

     When fishing there is quite sublime.

There are those, of course, who do protest

     The traffic problem they detest

When horns are honked and traffic’s jammed

     And Daggett street is really crammed

With drivers on their way to Chappy

     Where they know they will be happy.


But this year one did occur

     That caused a very special stir.

For what should board a Chappy ferry,

     But good St. Nick who is so merry,

And his reindeer from the North Pole,

     With heaps of gifts, including coal.

     (It once filled stockings of bad boys,

     But Donald Trump calls it a joy.)

There, squeezed on the deck of the On Time II

     (The On Time I was too small to do)

Was St. Nick on his sleigh and his reindeer, as well —

     And the bells on the sleigh rang out Jingle Bells,

A tight fit they were and they did bring a crowd

     (But at this time of year they were not very loud

     And neighbors are few to complain in December

     That’s something we all, of course, ought to remember.)


Just how did it happen Saint Nick was on Chappy?

     It isn’t a place that’s especially snappy.

It’s laid back and quiet — so hard to get to,

     But it seems that the deer as above it they flew

Looked down at the islet that is so nigh

     And thought that they’d give it a landing try

It seemed so restful with its golden sand

     And with its white lighthouse far out on the land

They’d heard rumors of oysters, a salty treat

     Since deer do love salt when they find it to eat

So they said to St. Nick they were coming down,

     He should buckle up quick before hitting the ground.

The deer liked where they landed — ’twas peaceful, indeed —

     The right place for a rest, of which they had need

But of course, on the sleigh, were all sorts of joys —

     Candy canes, smart phones and wonderful toys

For friends o’er the channel where St. Nick had been bound

     Where he had many friends in old Edgartown

And he’d seen from the air on the Edgartown pier

     A lobster pot tree shining bright far and near,

And the way to get to it, it seemed, really, quite clear

     ’Twas by getting on board a Chappy ferry

After the deer had made quite merry


On Chappy, the islet of ponds and of fish And most everything pleasant for which deer could wish.

     (But the oysters, it seemed, were nowhere to be found,)

Cape Pogue Pond, it appears, is such pristine ground —

     Or the waters it’s made of are so pristine

They’re best left as they are — so very clean,

     So the deer were all willing, after a rest,

To go over the channel, if not with zest,

     And to visit the town to the county seat

Katama Bay’s oysters just can’t be beat

     They’d heard on the grapevine, but since they were weary

They said to St. Nicholas, taking the ferry

     Was better than rising so high in the air —

For such a short flight — and they’d like to compare

     A ride on a ferry with what they could do —

The experience, they said, would be something quite new

     (And indeed, that it was, for Captain Wells, too,

     To squeeze on his ferry not only St. Nick

     But eight deer and a sleigh was quite a good trick)

But they made it across and went out on the dock

     Where St. Nick unloaded his gifts as the clock

On the Old Whaling Church began to ring out

     And call to the wharf all who were about.


First, there was for Tim Stobie a chest for the tools

     His forebears have left for him — hammers and rules

For Len Jason of Chilmark and for Cazeault, Joe,

     And for that Courtney whose name is Gino

Was a new town bench to rest on in the sun.

     Then, for Caitlin Jones who so likes to run

On the Middle Road in the dark of night

     When it’s very easy to be out of sight,

Was a bright orange vest to keep cars away.

     And then for Stan Hersh, for late in the day,

Was some Pappy van Winkle, a bourbon, they say

     Next, for Cathlin Baker there was a new car

To carry her near and to carry her far.


For Henry Nieder who likes so to bike

     And much prefers cycling to taking a hike,

There was a bright taillight for nighttime trips,

     While Dr. Bob Franklin got some sirloin tips.

In Santa’s sack there was a red rose

     (As red, indeed, as Santa Claus’s nose)

For Duncan MacDonald who’s 102.

     (Congratulations are certainly due.)

Then for Kirby, Pierce, was a Santa hat

     While for Jill Bouck was a colorful mat

For under her Christmas tree so cheery,

     And then there was for David Merry

A pump to help out on his shellfishing boat

     While Charlene Armer got a pink petticoat

And ballet slippers for her dances.


For Susie Buck was a horse that prances

     Then Ronan Young got a hockey stick;

Lynn Christoffers some brand new chicks,

     She so likes to feed them as night falls,

While Cayden Devine got two basketballs.

     For Robert Ganz was a jazz CD,

It was, of course, of Count Basie.

     And then there was for Whiting, Soo

A quetzle sighting at Quansoo.

     For those two Mayhews, Beth and Paul

Was a trip to Bermuda for next fall.

     Santa had in his sack for Bobby Brown

A Yeti cooler, and a wedding gown

     For Melanie Dixon, and a Teddy Bear

For Hezekiah Crossland was also there.

     There was one, too, for Goeckel, Rory;

For his sister, Charlotte, a book of stories.


There was Vineyardania for Shirley Howell

     And beach plums aplenty for Rosalie Powell.

For Donair Lopes there were bagpipes to play

     And haggis for strength throughout the day.

While Kevin Nagel got a bigger boat,

     And then there was a new billy goat

For Sam Feldman, who has a few,

     But adding another will please him, too.

And Carolin Puethoff, for Olivia

     Got a catnip mouse — that’s hardly trivia.

Then for Lynn Daniels, there were dahlia seeds

     While Brigitte Cornand got turquoise beads.

Tom Hodgson’s Coquina got snowballs to toss,

     And Garrett Orazem not dental floss

But fluoride for the Edgartown water,

     While for Deb Hale, that excellent potter

Santa had in his sack a supply of clay

     And lots of good wishes for Barbara Day,

Now moved to Sarasota — a-lack a-day.


For Dan and Dave Rossi, those chiefs of police

     Retiring from service, there were trips to Greece

Or the Caribbean if they’d like that better.

     Then for John Crelan was an Irish sweater.

There were dog toys aplenty for Holmberg, Dave

     And all of the dogs he tries to save.

The Emmett Carrolls got topsoil to spread

     That was rich with nutrients for their flower bed.

By then the reindeer had gone to explore

     The white house-lined streets that are the core

Of the old whaling town with its gardens gay

     With roses in spring in the month of May.

There were garlanded fences and lights on the trees

     And a soft snow was falling in the evening breeze,


But the reindeer were hungry for fresh grass to eat.

     They hoped they could find some in the county seat.

At Ernie Boch Jr.’s was the best they could see

     ’Twas still green and tasty, as grass should be,

So they strayed there to munch on his promenade,

     While St. Nick on the wharf was finding pomade

In his sack for Tom Thatcher’s thick head of hair

     And for David Norton a comfy chair

For his new man cave where he likes to stay

     While for Jenny Allen was a Broadway play

For her to perform in and to display

     Her theatrical talents which are so fine

There was a role, too, on the Broadway stage,

     For Anna Yukevich who’ll be the rage

For her singing talent when she hits New York.

     And then there was a tuning fork

For Heidi Schultz, who plays the cello

     The way she plays is oh so mellow


And then Brooks Carroll who likes to fish

     For brook trout for the serving dish

Got a brand new pole to use in spring

     While Madeleine Tully got an emerald ring.

Edie Blake’s Gonzo got some cardboard

     And Martha Moore a harpsichord

In case she tires of ringing bells,

     And then there was for Julia Wells’s

Dog named Annie a Kong to chew

     While Santa had, for Cullen, Blue

A shipment of Formosa tea

     That comes, of course, from across the sea.

For Harry Athearn was a new cell phone

     While for Anne Smith at Featherstone

Were roller skates to whiz around

     (The kind that do not make a sound.)

Linda Alley got jelly jars

     And the Isaac Russells, who like stars

Got a trip to Lapland where the Northern Lights

     Are one of the very special sights.


New Orleans tickets were in Santa’s pack

     (You can call it either a pack or a sack)

For Renee Metell who loves the blues.

     John Alley got vouchers to eat at the Newes.

Then Nonie Madison got toys

     For her growing brood of girls and boys.

And Nora Ruel got bells to ring

     When she is older — that’s the thing.

For Maggie Mei Moffet was a note in Nick’s sack

     That said the Mike Flynns would soon be back

With a Christmas hello and presents, too.

     Not just one, but quite a few.

For Nelson DeBettencourt were more honey bees

     And for Charles Young there was Cheddar cheese.

Ralph Packer got a cow-proof fence

     Since his cows wander, that makes sense.

For Heidi Dunkl was a Jingle Bell

     And the hope that she will soon be well.

For John Wojtkielo, there was pine

     To help make his wreaths that are so fine.


There was a blender for Becky Christ

     High on Santa Claus’ Christmas list.

Harriet Bernstein got a shower cap.

     For John Hughes was beer on tap.

For Haraldo Nascimento’s brand new house

     There was a display of Christmas boughs

To welcome in the holiday season.

     That is certainly a good reason.

Asa Ruel got a new dump truck

     And Arnie Fischer oysters to shuck.

There were M&Ms for Murphy, Chris-

     Peanut flavored are his dish.

Then Susie Jenkinson got lifesavers,

     Butterscotch is her choice in flavors.

Omar Johnson got a bright red hat

     To wear when fishing and that was that.

Then for John Moffett there were new Crocs

     While Bob McLean got some warm socks

To wear after winter swims that he takes

     While Susie Crowley got some ginger cakes.

Chloe Nelson got hostas to grow

     While everyone, of course, got snow.


The Matt Tobins got tickets to go out West;

     Which they will surely accept with zest

Since they can visit family there

     And for a time not have a care.

An apple tree was in Santa’s sack —

     Even though it was rather hard to pack.

He fitted it in for Vanderhoop, Anne

     Along with a bag of fresh pecans

To help her make her pies so tasty.

     And then there were for Runner Hasty,

Catnip plants to grow in her yard

     While Dan Waters got the works of the Bard.

And Juna Peach got her first stuffed toy

     That surely will bring her all sorts of joy.

For Peter Palches there was glue

     For all the repair work he can do.

A brand new organ was in Santa’s pack.

     Grace Church needs one, brown or black.

Stephen Calairi got saws and drills

     To do his own work so there won’t be bills

For repairs he’s making at his new house

     While Fronzie Condlin got ivy and holly

To make her feel so very jolly.

     June Manning got a Tahitian vacation

That she will take with great elation.


Isabel Noel got a penguin toy

     That surely will bring to her much joy.

For Anne Lesnikowski was a cherry pie—

     The genuine kind not the kind in the sky.

For Emily Kennedy were books of tickets

     So she needn’t wait at window wickets

Or search long hours on her computer

     To get the best buy on trips that will suit her

To get from New York to her Vineyard home.

     Or anywhere else she’d like to roam.

Jeff Madison got ivory dice

     That really should look very nice

In his new office in Aquinnah

     And then there was for Wingood, Ginna,

A new saddle for her horse

     While Santa had, for Christopher Morse,

Paintings, sculptures for his art shows,

     Then M.J. Pease got ribbons and bows.

Luis Fernandes of Bonanza Bus

     Got seeds for his garden for he doesn’t fuss

When travelers urge him to race for a boat.

     He’s the best of bus drivers, by Vineyard vote.


By then the reindeer had eaten their fill

     On the way out of town on the Ernie Boch hill

So past the white houses with wreaths on their doors

     The reindeer meandered — and peered at the stores

All along Main street the windows were bright

     With candles and greenery — a lovely sight.

On Memorial Wharf the lobster pot tree

     Was still all a-sparkle, for all to see.

The deer let Nick know they were well fed and happy;

     They waved hooves to the ferryman heading for Chappy.

St. Nick mounted the sleigh and away they all flew.

     Merry Christmas to all and especially to you!