From the Sept. 26, 1947 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Squalls, and howling nor’west winds, a heavy sea and a low temperature, all failed to prevent Gov. Robert Bradford from making his scheduled visit to the Island on Saturday. Arriving by way of Cuttyhunk, following a stormy passage from Woods Hole to that Island, Governor Bob landed at Menemsha Creek, fished Squibnocket Beach as the guest of the Island and of Ralph Hornblower, dined on lobster at the Hornblower estate and was present at exercises in Edgartown before he left for the mainland.

He did not take any fish, neither did any member of his or the competing team, which represented the Massachusetts Fish and Game Club. But, as he said, “no one could expect to strike any such luck on such a hasty trip. I have to go, but the rest of the team will stay and see if they can do some fishing.”

About 75 entrants of the bass derby were fishing on Squibnocket Beach during Saturday forenoon, but the group which met the governor at the Hornblower estate numbered about forty. Rep. Joseph A. Sylvia, County Commissioner S. C. Luce Jr., Antone K. Bettencourt, president of the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club, Judge D. Wiley Travis, Island chairman of the derby committee, M. Martin Gouldey, Judge Frederick H. Davis, a number of the mainland sport writers, Joseph C. Allen, the Gazette representative, and various others, were included in the group.

It was all very informal, with the host, Mr. Hornblower, assisted by various members of his family, receiving the group and directing the preparation and serving of a banquet prepared by Jesse Smalley and Leonard Vanderhoop.

There was no speech-making. Just a bunch of men who recognized the good things in life, gathered together to enjoy each others’ companionship and the bountiful feed provided by the host. But Governor Bradford did find opportunity to express himself freely with regard to the Island and the derby. As an additional feature for the advertising of Massachusetts, he spoke of the derby in the highest terms of praise. And as for the Island: “I shall find the opportunity to get back here unofficially, soon, and often,” he said. “I am always glad to be here.”

Judge Travis took this occasion to announce the completion of arrangements for the grand finale of the derby, which will consist of putting it on the air through Vox Pop, sponsored by the American Express Company. On Oct. 15, the full crew of Vox Pop will come to the Island and will broadcast from the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, in Oak Bluffs. The full program will be given, together with the ceremony of presenting the prizes for the derby, the whole broadcast covering the United States and Hawaii. The news of this arrangement, just completed the night before by Judge Travis, was given to the governor by the judge and was enthusiastically received by His Excellency.

Judge Travis invited the governor to a tour about the Island in the new Plymouth coupe which is offered as second prize in the derby.

Arriving at Edgartown at 3 p.m., they were greeted by appropriate signs at the entrance to the town and at the town hall, reading, Welcome, Governor Bradford, the signed furnished by Don Klingensmith. The honor guard of the Martha’s Vineyard Post, American Legion, headed by Commander William B. Brown and Commander-elect Thomas G. Labelle, and including Charles Leighton Jr., Hobart L. Willoughby and Donald Mavro, met the governor’s car on Main street and escorted him to the town hall steps, where stood the selectmen and a large gathering of townspeople. Public buildings and all Main street had flags flying.

The Edgartown School Orchestra, whose presence had been arranged by John W. Osborn, played throughout in a pleasing manner, under the leadership of its drum majorette, Miss Ursula Norton.

The chairman of the board of selectmen, Kenneth T. Galley, delivered an appropriate speech of welcome and introduced the governor to the gathering, to which the governor responded simply and graciously.

He shook hands with all who came forward to greet him, and left under escort of the Legion post honor guard, arriving at 3:45 p.m. in the quarters of the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club at Oak Bluffs, talking with many sportsfishermen there, as well as their wives and guests, children and local business men. The party posed for photographers and then departed to view the Steelcraft Striper on display at Ben David’s.

At 4:30 the group entered Vineyard Haven’s Main street, where so many friends of the governor stopped him to chat and welcome him that it was some time before he finally reached the steamboat wharf, where a fishing boat was waiting to take him to the mainland to keep appointments there which were obligatory. The governor enjoyed the Vineyard so much that he was loathe to leave, expressing his pleasure in glowing terms.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox