From the Sept. 7, 1973 edition of the Gazette:

Wednesday was neither a good day for pupils nor teachers in the Island’s schools, despite a letup in the heat wave that made settling down to lessons easier. It was still back-to-school day after a summer of swimming and softball, bicycling and berrying, picnics and beach-parties, sails and profitable summer jobs.

Pupils grumbled at the end of their holiday activities. Teachers bore up under it, except for the mishaps that marred the opening day.

At the Tisbury School, Wanza Davis the fifth grade and science teacher, missed the first day of classes after being unexpectedly taken ill Tuesday night and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Missing from the Regional High School was Stephen D. Diomandes who was due to arrive from Brockton to teach basic math, but was unable to because of family circumstances. Injured en route from Oak Bluffs to the Edgartown School Wednesday morning were Miss Holly Dobbins, the fifth grade teacher, and Miss Elise Boy, who teaches special needs. Miss Boy remains at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital with possible fractured ribs. The two young women were driving toward Edgartown along Sea View avenue when their car and one being driven toward Oak Bluffs by Mrs. Barbara Pease of Harthaven collided at the corner of Samoset avenue.

The number of youngsters back at their desks was 12 fewer than last year, despite a soaring enrollment in West Tisbury from 37 to 60. In other communities, registration fell a bit or remained about the same. In Tisbury, there were only 418 children registered (as opposed to 448 last year) and in Edgartown, too, enrollment dropped from 252 in the fall of 1972 to 237 this fall. At the Oak Bluffs School it rose by only three pupils, from 253 to 246; in Chilmark by three, from 19 to 22, and at the high school by five, from 483 to 487. So, on the whole, there was a little more elbow room than usual, but no enthusiastic scholars were overheard remarking that that made the start of school for 1973 an event to be celebrated.

As reported to the Gazette, there was a vacationer on the Vineyard who, sleeping uneasily on a Monday night, dreamed that he was driving on the West Tisbury-Edgartown Road and encountered 11 bicycles pedaling two-by-two in front of him. He woke in a nervous condition, and sure enough that day he was driving along and met those 11 bicyclists proceeding two-by-two except, of course, for the eleventh.

On Tuesday night he went to bed early, tossed around for a while, and then dreamed that he met 27 bicyclists on the West-Tisbury-Edgartown Road. He rose early, drank five cups of black coffee, and found himself required to drive on that same road where, indeed, he met 27 bicyclists, weaving in and out, except for one who kept cutting out of line, trying to pass the rest.

On Wednesday night he stayed up late, drank three high-balls, and finally went to sleep counting bicycles. He lost count, but in a dream he met 34 riders, male and female, between the airport and West Tisbury. He passed them all safely but was held up by a girl who had dismounted to remove a stone from her shoe. Before he could get started again, 33 riders passed him, and then the girl passed him while he was staring through his rear window trying to make out whether she was real or imaginary.

No, he had no dreams on Thursday night, because he had decided not to wait for Labor Day but to go back at once to New York where the roads are all open except for normal traffic.

Bernard Shaw said that no man can live forever and that after 80 he doesn’t want to.

Living disproof of Mr. Shaw is Roger N. Baldwin who is pushing 90. He left last Saturday after having canoed as usual on Squibnocket Pond, renewed his close acquaintance with the Island and its affairs, including attendance at the Thursday night hearing on Governor Sargent’s bill. His next plan was to canoe on a river out in Missouri.

His projects pull him along, he remarked with zest and a sparkle. “Forever” is a long time indeed, but Mr. Baldwin has no need to consider that point. “So long as one can enjoy life,” he says, “things go right along.”

That’s the rule. That’s the ultimate wisdom.

Anyone passing through Harthaven Saturday and not knowing that that community was holding its 30th annual Labor Day weekend clambake may have been a bit mystified to see and hear the old player piano from the Tivoli on the sands by the first inlet — playing canned tunes sometimes — or being played by its owner, William P. Abbe, or his sister in law, Mrs. Ed Abbe, at other times — tunes like I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad. Meanwhile, knee-deep in Vineyard Sound was William Conklin making merry with an accordion. The musical clambake (there was seafood as well as music) began at 1 p.m. and continued till 6, with more than 100 Harthaven residents bidding a gala farewell to the 1973 summer season.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox