From the Nov. 5, 1943 edition of the Gazette:

Without any particular demonstration, the Island made the changeover from dim-out to present unrestricted home, business and automobile lighting, on Monday night. Shop and store windows were unshrouded for the first time in a year and a half, and proprietors, in general, expressed satisfaction over this change, and only a few houses were observed to be much more brilliantly lighted than before. Shades were drawn, for the most part, probably for conservation of heat.

Automobiles encountered on highways had open lights and dimmed ones, and even later in the week, there were still many cars carrying the lens shades or painted portions.

The end of the dim-out will also bring to an end, we hope, a lot of things which the dim-out served to represent. So far as we know, no one objected to discomfort or even to hardship if the purposes of the war were served. All of us would eagerly have shared in as large a measure as possible the sacrifices of the men in service, but we were reluctant to take part in quasi-hysteria and be subjected to petty tyranny which merely diverted attention from the real war and the men who had to fight it.

Fortunately the Island authority was firmly grounded in common sense, and the absurdities were soon sifted out as they reached our shores. The one effort in applying the dim-out here was obviously to carry out the purpose of the Army and to make it work, which was exactly as things should have been.

All this could not be said in so many words before, lest the public lose confidence in the system during a time of supposed emergency. As it was, the Island made a good record and, what is more, kept its head, which is reason for congratulation.

We should welcome the shift of emphasis to the offense and study for ourselves which opportunities we can best grasp. Effort and sacrifices are in order, and the direction is clear.

“They also serve to whom no honors are paid,” might well be the motto describing Freckles, a small Vineyard Haven dog who has been mentioned in print before — a part-spaniel, part-something-else probably, with a somewhat soiled liver and white shaggy coat, which is apt to be spotted with burrs, but whose head is filled with wisdom beyond that of many animals, and whose eyes are eloquent in expression as he looks out upon a world that he seems to understand far better than most humans.

Freckles, was, or is, the property of Mrs. Fred Luce, although Mrs. Luce has exercised little control over his movements for a long period. Before he was owned by Mrs. Luce, Freckles was owned on the mainland, but attaching himself to a fire company, rode and ran to answer alarms until fear for his safety caused his transfer to the Island.

For years Freckles has been the pet of the Island steamer crews and has enjoyed the freedom of every boat, together with free traveling privileges and the run of the galley. How many trips he has made, to and from the mainland, could not even be guessed. Where he roamed, when ashore, is as great problem as the wanderings of any sailor on shore liberty in a strange port.

Suffice it to say that he has been seen and reported in all sections near steamboat landings, ranging miles away from the docks themselves, but always conducting himself decorously and never meeting with trouble. Also it is a fact that he has always returned to a steamer landing shortly before boat time and has taken passage home. With uncanny instinct Freckles has never seemed to guess wrong on the hour when a steamer was due at any of its regular stops, and his appearance, shortly before the arrival of a boat, has been noted and commented upon by many.

But now, with the war taking first place in the minds and outlook of everyone, Freckles has joined the armed forces. Without even a dip of his shaggy tail in farewell to his friends on the steamers, Freckles has “shipped” in the Coast Guard. His home is the Vineyard Haven barracks, and his cruising ground wherever the coastguardsmen may go. Ashore or afloat, Freckles is entirely in his element, and may be seen anywhere that duty calls the guardians of the coast.

He rides the bucking jeeps over the sand dunes and has a place in the cars of officers. He knows the cooks and reports for mess when hunger gnaws, and is treated as one of the crew. He follows the lonely patrols along the windswept reaches of far-off posts, and keeps them company on long, dark night watches; perhaps sniffing the wind for scent of a possible enemy, concealed in the darkness. Faithful and alert, it is a foregone conclusions that his traditional friendliness would be temporarily laid aside should anyone threaten his friends.

Such is the tale of Freckles, up to date. A sea-dog, a war-dog, unnoticed, unhonored, but doing whatever a small dog may do to help the cause along. Like many an unnoticed human, Freckles is with the war effort, heart and soul.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox