From the Oct. 4, 1940 edition of the Gazette:

In some places, we believe, it is frost which brings the great fall change in the appearance and feeling of town and countryside, but on the Vineyard it is wind and rain which does this. The summer flowers are still blooming in gardens, drenched but bright, when the northeasters and the sweeping rains manage a complete alteration of the season.

There is considerable virtue in an autumn rain, and some even in an autumn gale. Little can compare with these things in the gusty cleanliness which they bring out of doors. They scour and sweep the sky and the sea as well as the earth, and everyone knows that when the weather clears it will be sharper and cleaner than it has been for weeks, perhaps for months. And the spirit of the human being will be sharper and cleaner, too.

During the storm one may look forward to the freshening, and know that when the sun comes out the summer flowers will be gayer still, and that they will keep company with the tangy chrysanthemum and the coloring autumn leaves. For a while the seasons will be all mixed up, and the miscellany of fall will combine the best qualities of many days and nights, of many memories, and of many satisfactions.

The importance of “family comradeship” in solving the difficult relation between parent and child was stressed by Mrs. Emily Post, author of The Book of Etiquette, by which millions of hostesses and housewives order their lives, in her talk Monday evening at the open meeting of the Literature Department of the Edgartown Woman’s Club, at the home of Mrs. Ernest W. Mortimer, Mrs. Post, who touched on several topics in the course of her amusing but instructive discussion, spoke briefly of her new book, Children Are People, which she has almost completed after four months of grueling work, and which is soon to be published.

“A code between parent and child,” which would further family comradeship, would include the following six points, said Mrs. Post: never mistrust the child’s intentions; never belittle his opinion; never fail to stand back of him; never tell him a lie; and never betray a confidence.

Letters received in her voluminous mail led to her choice of subject for her book, Mrs. Post revealed, telling of the many letters she had received from parents of children in their mid-teens. In order to deal with their offspring at this age, she said, parents should have begun the job at the birth of their children. Only by establishing at the earliest age possible the vital, old fashioned family comradeship can parents, she feels, cope with the situation presented by the youth of today, and the world we live in.

Introduced by Mrs. Percy D. West, chairman of the department, as “Edgartown’s No. 1 summer resident,” Mrs. Post began her talk by referring briefly to the mail she receives and the serious reception she gives it. Corespondents she has never seen entrust her with the inmost story of their lives, and it is a responsibility which she values and the importance of which she respects.

Occasionally, quite often in fact, the light note is struck in some of the letters, as for instance, said Mrs. Post, in the missive which came only recently from a man who wisher her blessing on his desire to sing at his own wedding in order to sooth his nerves! She remembered a somewhat similar case in which a prospective bride desired to have her bridegroom sing not once but at various appropriate occasions throughout the ceremony. Evidently the result in this case was not to be a lullaby to the singer’s nerves but a musical treat for the guests. What to do when relatives overstay their welcome, or when the bridegroom insists on having his own monogram on his sheets and his towels are other matters which, it is evident, Mrs. Post’s sense of humor aids her in treating wisely and well.

The perennial question of married woman and job crops up frequently in her mail, Mrs. Post says, and she is nearly as strong a champion of the married woman’s right to her job as she is of her pet theory of etiquette, that the hostess should never be served first.

Promising at the beginning of her talk that she would not discuss politics, Mrs. Post permitted herself to touch upon the third term issue at the close of the evening. The wisdom of the founding fathers in that respect was unassailable, she said, comparing the perfection of the constitution of this country, and in particular the bill of rights, to the unequaled artistry of the Parthenon. Washington and Jefferson each refused a third term because they felt no man should ever consider himself indispensable and be led astray by the love of power, she said. She concluded with a brief but glowing tribute to Wendell Willkie, which was warmly applauded by her audience, which included members of all three departments, husbands of some members, and a number of guests. Refreshments were served in the social hour which followed.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox