Arnie Reisman

Mentor Step Ahead in Subversive Tally

He slid my article across his desk right at me. “Not everything’s funny. You want to be a wise guy or a journalist?” he said. “Why can’t I be both?” I snapped.

Read More

Washashore Chronicles: It's All a Dream We Dreamed Long Ago

I lied. How best to make a clean start for part three of my trilogy on the boxes in our basement? Honestly, I totally miscalculated the number. I thought we had two dozen, but neglected to open another door down there to reveal another roomful of boxes.

Read More

Washashore Chronicles: Keeping Inner Hoarder at Bay Not Child's Play

After I wrote about the nasty accumulation of boxes in my basement, several readers stopped me on the street, not to chastise me for having so many but to inquire why I had so few. “You only have two dozen boxes? Is your house big enough to absorb everything you moved there?” one said.

Read More

Ooh Barracuda, I've Got Boxes in My Basement

When you’re a kid, there are monsters under your bed. When you’re an adult, there are boxes in your basement. The spookiness never stops, does it? It happens every time we move. No matter if we are going to a larger space or a smaller space, nothing can stop the proliferation of unopened and unemptied boxes, most likely left to grow old in your basement — or even rot in storage in some other community.

Read More

Doggone It, Exercise Needs a Companion

Ever since we had to put down our beloved dog last February, I have lost the will to exercise. Floyd, our yellow lab, was my physical fitness program as well as my religion.

Read More

Soothing Shrug of the Shoulder Season

True story. It’s early on a Saturday
morning in late August on Main street in Vineyard Haven. The sun is shining down on at least a dozen adults and children taking coffee and munchies back to their boats. They are heading toward Owen Park. The first squawk sounds low and short. Then it starts up and raises its pitch. More like a keen than a commentary. Squawk. Squaaawk. Squaaawkkkk!

Where is it coming from? Up in the trees? On someone’s roof? Concern riffles through the group. An animal is in trouble! A turkey is stuck somewhere!

Read More

Love at First Bite, Theatre Gets in the Blood

They say the Island is a breeding ground for ticks and some other creepy insects bearing bad news. So while I was looking this way and that, I didn’t see it coming and got bitten by the theatre bug. The next thing I knew I was joining the play readers group and the board of the Vineyard Playhouse. I have to say the attack has been most rewarding.

Read More

My Yellow Lab Floyd

He shows me the way

A boy in a dog suit

On a scent


His marble-sized eyes

Soft brown nougats

Warm Black Crow centers

Anchored in opposing tear drops

At rest

Lying sideways

Between the weight of the world

And a profound sense of loss

He has seen it all

And regrets most of it

Eyes rimmed as if with kohl

It’s a look, a look that cannot be denied

You want to give him everything

You will give him anything,

Anything that will make his tongue come out

And swipe his snout

Or make him sweep the floor with his tail

Call his name

Tell him he’s good

Ask him if he wants food

Ask him if he wants a ride

Tell him Mommy’s coming

Tell him anyone’s coming

For God’s sake just say hello

As Quixote upon seeing a windmill,

He tilts his head

He pumps an eyebrow

He’s ready to follow you

To the ends of the earth or the driveway,

Whichever comes first.

“Mommy, why is that doggie so sad?”

The little girl pumps her mother’s hand,

Her finger wags at Floyd

“He can’t help it,” I say in a sing-song way.

“His eyes are shaped like sadness.

His brows slope down,

Like a seesaw always down.

He always looks this way,

Even when he’s happy

And he’s always happy.

Isn’t that right, Floyd?”






The little girl runs over and hugs Floyd,

Squeezing his scruff with arms of grace in training.

He looks at me as if to say,

“Is this the ends of the earth or the driveway?”

Read More

Washashore Chronicles: Luddites Unite — In Defense of Real Books

Back in the day, as they say, when a lot was two words and a newspaper lede (which this is right here – the opening paragraph) was a lead, and when a woman was called Jaymie it was spelled Jamie and not Jaime, which should be pronounced Hymay as it is in Spanish, back then when all was right with the world (but not nearly as right as it is today), I read books. Real books with bindings and pages, both hard and soft cover. I still do.

Read More

Washashore Chronicles: On the Road of Life, Offer a Ride to Those in Need

A few weeks ago, the Gazette’s front page story on the aging of the Vineyard population hit home. From the story we learned that the number of Vineyard residents 60 and older is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the state, and that some estimates show that the number of Islanders between the ages of 60 and 70 will triple by 2020.

Read More