Arnie Reisman

Washashore Chronicles: View of the Future May Require Swim Goggles

In public seminars this month, the Vineyard Conservation Society, using colorful and frightful maps, showed how we were on our way to becoming the next Atlantis. My wife and I just bought here and now they’re telling me “here” may not be here for long? Here I was enjoying my status as a washashore and now they have the audacity to inform me that life’s odyssey is destined to make me an out-at-sea? Why worry about securing my next appointment with the electrician or the plumber if my future is among flotsam and jetsam?

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Washashore Chronicles: Easing Into the Age of the Roundabout

Once upon a time on this Island that has managed to achieve peaceful coexistence without traffic lights, we had a little hoedown at the four-way stop on the Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road. Cars would come down Barnes Road from the airport. Cars would come up Barnes Road from Featherstone. Cars would come from the high school. Cars would come from Cash & Carry. To cross the four-way intersection, it was a fairly basic doh-see-doh — first come, first served.

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Washashore Chronicles: All Signs Indicate It Will Be Artfully Done

So is Vineyard Haven now the Taos of the East? I knew two years ago there was something very special about what lured us to permanent living in Vineyard Haven, but who knew it would be nationally noted?

Our Chamber of Commerce announced on April 3 that Vineyard Haven was named one of America’s best small town art places for 2013. In fact, it’s in the top 12.

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Washashore Chronicles: May the Phoenix Never Rest in Peace

More than a year ago when the Gazette asked me to write a column, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, this is a writer’s paper and I am what’s known as an ink-stained wretch. Back in the day, I worked for another paper that promoted and showcased good writing. It was the Boston Phoenix, which ceased publication on March 15 after 47 years of operation.

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Washashore Chronicles: When the Grief Remains Bone Deep

Somewhere in the first hour of every morning I burst into sobs. How long has it been now? A month? He was a presence. He was with us for 11 and a half years. Then he wasn’t. Our beloved yellow Lab has died. Our dear sweet Floyd is gone. Great pain took hold of him for at least 24 hours. Now it won’t let us go.

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Washashore Chronicle: Come Winter Colds, Its Always Something

The other day I was watching the umpteenth news item about how the flu bug is everywhere. Midway through the story I think I may have missed a crucial piece of information because the dry cough I’ve so far endured for every single day of 2013 decided to go into its impersonation of a garbage disposal and drowned out my TV. I’m not sure what triggered the cough. Maybe it was brought on by multi-tasking. There I was watching the TV at low volume, half listening to Chopin on an iPod and admiring a print of a Modigliani painting on our office wall.

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Never the Road, Give Me Hearth and Home

I really can’t stay. But baby, it’s cold outside! I’ve got to go 'way. But baby, it’s cold outside!
So goes Frank Loesser’s famous duet of fireplace seduction. But some New Englanders feel they really can’t stay and have to go ’way precisely because, baby, it’s cold outside.

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Washashore Chronicles: Sing, Choir of Neighbors, Sing in Exultation

A few weeks ago I was making coffee when I heard what sounded like a stunned owl hoo-ing for help. Sounded as if he might be trapped behind a storm door or in a room on the other side of the house. As I got closer to a closed door, I realized the sound was emanating from my soulful wife, sitting in her office, chanting along with some psalm playing on her laptop, ear buds blocking out the world. Paula was practicing for the Island Community Chorus — her first time as a participant. Soon our house became a repository of the stuff that haunts the poems of Poe and the books of Oliver Sacks.

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Washashore Chronicles: Thanksgiving Is Here, Family Is All In

They came from all over the mainland and descended on us. What made this a first was that the Island was the setting. Over 30 years of Thanksgivings, including 25 with a house we had in Menemsha, family members had never joined us to celebrate here. This time, 10 of them decided to come — because we now live here. It was a day of easy access — our Vineyard Haven home is walking distance from the ferry terminal.

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Washashore Chronicle: Being Treated to Full Cast of Characters

All right, we have been officially initiated as full-fledged year-rounders in Vineyard Haven. We participated in Halloween. What a scene. What a kick!

We have been hearing about this holiday classic for years and missed it last year. It would have been our first Halloween in Vineyard Haven but we were called off-Island to a wedding. When we returned, all our neighborly friends informed us that we had missed an incredible tradition, a fantastic three-hour piece of Americana in which Norman Rockwell meets Grand Guignol.

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