We have been vacationing on the Vineyard each summer for most of the last 35 years. This past August was the first time we faced the uncertainty of getting off the Island with our car on our scheduled return date. When it appeared we were going to take a direct hit from Hurricane Henri, we were fortunate to have moved up our ferry reservation from Monday

August 23 to the preceding Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and cancelled our lodging for Saturday and Sunday nights.

Then we started to worry ferry service might be cancelled before we got off, so on that Friday we called around to reserve lodging again, anticipating we’d be vacationing longer than originally planned. I called hotels with a trace of anxiety in my voice and expected the same from the hotel staff. What I got instead were pleasant, calm and professional voices

at the two hotels I called. We easily reserved a room.

The following Saturday morning we drove our son and granddaughters to the Vneyard Haven terminal to catch the 5:30 a.m. ferry. Traffic was jammed up past five corners in all directions. The atmosphere was tense. A trucker was shouting profanity at a Steamship Authority worker loud enough to be heard in Woods Hole. The worker remained calm and professional. We came back at 6:15 p.m. for our 7:30 ferry and were told they ran extra ferries and we were getting off one hour earlier than scheduled!

What we were witnessing was an Island people that knew how to handle crowds, knew how to provide lodging, and knew how to move large amounts of people and vehicles in a short amount of time, under pressure, calmly and professionally. If ever there was a justifiable moment to push back on the occasional impatient or confrontational visitor it was that Saturday. But from our perspective none of you took the bait.

To all of you we extend our gratitude and appreciation for your patience and hospitality. Well done.

Ted Dooling