Tales from Gosnold: Two Riders Were Approaching And the Wind Began to Howl

It was just too hot to think last week so I just sat around with a dead brain remembering silly things, which is a lot easier than some of the other stuff I think about.

Tales from Gosnold: Buried Together Beneath Layers of Memory

There is a real jail in the town of Gosnold in the basement of the town hall on Cuttyhunk.

Tales from Gosnold: Keeping Memories Afloat in Turbulent Waters

My wife is from Tennessee and before serendipitously landing on the island where we met, to her a boat trip was something you took on two aluminum pontoons, a platform covered with indoor/outdoor carpet, a small outboard engine, frilly canopy and a few cases of beer on a flat, calm pond on Sundays somewhere out in the country, maybe rafting up with a few other families for a party. Once on Cuttyhunk, her assumption was that if anything ever happened to our boat, we would each take two kids in life jackets and swim for shore.

Tales from Gosnold: Honoring the Humility of Memory

It’s Memorial Day weekend and sometimes I think we forget what that’s about. First, it’s about our war dead. No matter how you feel about war, we all hurt for the sons and daughters who don’t come back or come home damaged, and how that reverberates through the psyche of our society. It is also about people missing from our lives leaving that permanent, empty and personal sense of loss. All through life, things and people fall away, reminding us that we are all going to have a turn. It’s the ultimate equal opportunity.

Tales from Gosnold: Sharing the Load of a Heavy Life

Ray Hopper died the day our first child was born. It wasn’t a natural death, or a peaceful death. At the time Ray was the husband of the storekeeper and he had a daily ritual. He would load his antique dueling pistol and his muzzle-loading rifle, roll up a couple of dog-haired, dust-bunnied, washashore joints and head out looking for deer. His route was exactly the same every day, so when he did not show up by dark, the island went looking for him. They found him, still warm, with his much-loved antique guns, pack, wallet and one joint neatly stacked on a rock nearby.

Tales from Gosnold: Stuck in Reverse but Going Forward Anyway

The freight situation on the island got completely out of hand for a time awhile ago, but fortunately fate stepped in and prevented a possible lynching. Bung Ward has run the freight business for a long time, probably forever. The business consists of him meeting the mail boat with his 1968 Chevy pickup which got here on a barge in 1976 because it couldn’t pass inspection on the mainland, a condition which seems to be fairly chronic around here making for some pretty inexpensive vehicles.

Tales from Gosnold: Ask Not for Whom the Chopper Calls

Sometimes a person is awakened from a dream by the very thing he is dreaming about. For some veterans I know, the deafening chop-chop of helicopter blades takes them back to Viet Nam. For us, the din of the blades and the intensity of lights so bright they bathe the island in daylight means someone is in trouble.