From the March 14, 1952 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

This is a proper time of year to trot out last summer’s preserved blueberries for a pie or muffins or something. The taste is a notable prescription for what’s wrong with early March. What is wrong, if we may venture a limited diagnosis, is too much distance from last summer and too much from next summer. You might not think so much separation from the fullness of sunlight and various harvests that summer brings could be cured by berries and juice poured out of a jar.

But what does the curing is the flavor. It seems to set things right at once. It fixes the perspective and allows for all kinds of messing around in between, so long as blueberry season is to be followed by blueberry season.

March is all right in its way, and it will have, if it doesn’t already, certain color. Crocuses are overdue, the redwings are here though some of their relatives haven’t shown up, and grass turns green as the snow melts and the sun begins to shine. But March has no succulence whatever, and no flavor.

Therefore look in the cupboard and see if there is one pint jar of blueberries left. If there is — ah! A pie will tide a whole family over. And what an experience for this time of tardiness and reluctance and raw nights.

A deluge of rain, heavy southeast winds, terrifically high tides and the blackest of sqaully skies, all contributed to the removal of most of the snow on Tuesday. Although the barometer readings in various parts of the Island were around 29.2, which is a recognized danger point, and oldtimers opined that the end of the world was near, no actual damage was reported.

A curious phenomenon was noted at 5 in the afternoon. At that time rain was falling in a flood over Vineyard Haven, the wind was estimated at forty miles an hour, and the eastern sky was the color of ink. At that minute, the sky was clearing at Gay Head, there was no rain and no wind!

How you live makes all the difference.

Apparently the report of the Gay Head town meeting contained a reference that was not grasped by some readers. This consisted of a coupling of the fact that it was a quiet and dignified assembly, with the announcement there made, of the informal caucus held on the night before, where the actual decisions were arrived at.

The fact is and has been through the generations that in the average New England town there has been a division of people. It would not be entirely correct to say that this has usually been a political division, but rather a division of interests. The lines have been sharply drawn, as many records serve to show, and everything short of pitched battles has resulted at various times from these divisions. Here on the Vineyard there has been the example of the town of Tisbury, divided into two main groups for many years, Holmes Hole and Newtown or West Tisbury. Holmes Hole itself was divided, with the down-Neckers on one side and the up-Headers on the other, and West Tisbury was divided, the groups being those who lived east or west “of the brook.”

In Chilmark there were three divisions at least, the Kapigoners and the Chilmarkers, and still another group locally known as the “South Roaders.”

In every instance there was a clashing of interests which caused difficulty and plenty of it, whenever the towns sought to make any changes. An example was the first Chilmark school, which was years in materializing because of these disagreements among sections.

Long ago the voters discovered that if they went into town meeting unprimed, as it were, little could be accomplished. Debate would drag on, or the best informed would remain silent, fearful of speaking in public. By mutual understanding then, informal groups met to discuss all controversial matters, and likewise informally, some sort of truce was called or agreement arrived at.

West Tisbury was the last Vineyard town to hold to this system with any regularity. For many years it was the proud boast of the late William J. Rotch that his town would hold its election and town meeting, completing all business early enough in the day to allow everyone to get home for the noon meal, and it was so.

But for weeks, and perhaps months before, men argued in the stores of George G. Gifford and the S. M. Mayhew Company, until they had thoroughly thrashed out every item which might cause debate in the town meeting. Having finally arrived at a point where there was no longer dissension, they attended the meeting and voted.

But the change from this old custom came about largely through women receiving the vote, and thus the caucuses held by the men of the hamlets quickly lost their value.

But in the case of Gay Head, a community meeting took place. It was quite apparent that men and women, representing the major percentage of the voters, must have been present. The result was exactly what it used to be when this sort of thing was the custom; a smoothly conducted and wholly dignified town meeting.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox