If there is an in-law lottery, I won it. Jamie Langley, the owner of Right Fork Diner, is my sister in law.

I was blessed to enjoy Jamie’s cooking before she opened her restaurant, when she made beer battered fish for a Friday night family dinner. To this day it is one of my favorite meals.

In 2007, a few years later, during her first summer as proprietor of the Right Fork Diner, my husband and I hosted our wedding rehearsal dinner there. We would become one of the few couples who could say that. As time went on there were many rules and committees having a say about how this little diner could be run.

But Jamie understood this process and as the years went by she rolled with it and adapted. For 15 years, she provided breakfast, lunch and dinner to thousands of people. Maybe if she did the math it would reach 100,000 mouths fed. In the Langley clan alone there are over 20 people. Add Jamie’s family and my Brown family and it gets close to 70 people.

For years, I would call my mother and say “I am picking you up and we are on our way to the Right Fork Diner for breakfast,”

Her reply: “Oh goody, goody.”

Jamie didn’t just wave her magical wand and conjure the Right Fork Diner out of thin air. She and her family have worked tirelessly in so many ways.

In her 20s, Jamie was a staple waitress at Chescas in Edgartown. In her 30s and newly married, she worked in the school system in West Tisbury. Then, in her late 30s, she and her husband, Merrill, started a family. One of those babies was the Right Fork Diner.

Balancing her growing family with her investment in the restaurant, Jamie slowly created a place that became an Island staple for summer memories. People would ride their bikes from miles away and wait over an hour and a half to eat there. Our family knew not to try and eat there between July and August, but sometimes we had no choice because we wanted that memorable experience as well. And so we waited in line for it, like everyone else.

As Jamie’s sister in-law, I have an insider’s perspective on her deep commitment to her patrons. Each year she made the diner more beautiful, with plants, tables, new cushions and even games for those long wait times. During the summer of 2019 she invested in new furniture. With her attention to detail, she even figured out how to house her wonderful staff.

And last year, during the pandemic, she was able to adapt the restaurant for her loyal customer base. She provided comfort when we all needed it most.

Sadly, this summer we will not be able to feel Jamie’s thoughtful, family-friendly and heartwarming touch. Like the trees in the forest, this is yet another uprooting of an Island gem.

Farewell Jamie and the Right Fork Diner family. Thank you for helping us make so many happy memories.

Lisa Brown Langley lives in Edgartown