Good news! TTOR superintendent Chris Kennedy reports that the beach route between Chappy and Edgartown is open. Make sure that your tire pressure is no more than 15 p.s.i. or you will get stuck in the sand at the Katama entrance.

Bad news! Voracious raccoon at large on Chappy showing great initiative.

Memorial Day is a mere four and a half weeks away. The Chappy Store will be opening under the new management of Katie Kidder and Tom Kent on Wednesday, May 23 on a limited schedule of Thursday through Sunday until the end of June. The Chappaquiddick ferry resumes the summer schedule on Thursday, May 24 which means that, weather permitting, the ferry operates continuously from 6:45 a.m. through midnight.

For those of you returning from a winter of off-Island exile, rest assured that UPS package delivery at the Chappy store continues even in the sad absence of Gerry Jeffers.

When I was a kid, my family spent the entire summer in the two-story house just west of the beach club. The house and all of the beach club structures were painted various shades of faded yellow with green trim. As renters, we had free run of the club. We swam out to the float, paddled around in the little rowboats, had chowder daily at the snack bar, fished off the piers at night. On rainy days, we would stand under the outdoor showers to warm up, slickers and rain hats still on. Eventually Ham Kelley would venture out to tell us to stop using up all of the hot water.

Then, progress happened. The beach club was rebuilt in the circus tent motif. The two-story house was demolished. The new cabanas had and still have molded fiberglass pointed roofs that are painted in bold stripes of red, white and blue. Atop each is a blue diamond shaped finial adornment.

Occasionally, a big storm would tear one of the roofs adrift and send it tumbling inland. If that occurred mid-summer, the beach boys would wrestle it back up into place right away. If it happened during the winter, the roof would lay in the sand until spring fix up. I remember that it took a few years to get the finials to stay dependably vertical after getting bent crooked or broken off by the impact of the landing after a roof took flight.

Very noticeable at first, the colors of the new club eventually became part of the scenery of Chappy. There was one person however who couldn’t get used to it. Anika Brooke from Maine. May she rest in peace. Her former Chappy house is perched on the high bluff known as Manaca Hill. From the deck there is a sweeping panoramic view of the outer harbor. A fabulous spot. However, she had a solid panel fence in her yard that blocked part of the view. She told me that she had it built in just the right spot so that she couldn’t see the pointed roofs of the beach club cabanas. She said that she had proposed to beach club management to have them painted some other color, any other color, at her own expense but that her offer had not been accepted. She also admitted to me that there was something about the finials that seemed very unnecessary and bugged her.

Even today, those diamond adornments require human intervention. Zach Pinerio now bears the awesome burden of responsibility for keeping the finials properly in place. One blew off during the first of the four northeasters that assaulted the island this winter. Zach was unable to locate the wayward adornment even after it was seen on the beach by a friend. The friend left it where he found it assuming that due to its weight, it wasn’t going anywhere. The next time that Zach saw the finial it had mysteriously appeared on his porch while he was not at home. There was no indication of who delivered it. His fertile imagination gave rise to the many possibilities of who the culprit could be. In his insatiable quest for the truth, Zach is offering a reward to the person responsible for reuniting the finial with its guardian. One of his crafts is making wooden bowls. These bowls are exquisite. I expect that this generous reward will attract imposters. So you better have a plausible story if you claim to be a participant in or a perpetrator of the finial conspiracy.

Send Chappy news to