Island in the News-Stream


One of our loyal readers and far-flung occasional correspondents, Ray LaPorte of Martha’s Vineyard, sent his reflections in anticipation of this summer’s Presidential visit to the island. Ray has been off shore for years, with his wife, Bernadette, following earlier life passages in Pawtucketville, Worcester, New York City, and Washington, D.C. If we are lucky, he will send updates on the festivities and local embrace of the First Family.—PM


The Tilt-A-Whirl truck just passed my office window heading to the island’s fairgrounds, a sure sign that we here on the Vineyard are about to experience our annual peak week of crowds, events, The Fair, Illumination Night, POTUS, FLOTUS, Hill and Bill and their attendant entourages. There will be no room in any inn, home, or hotel here for the next 10 days, as our seasonal population swells to the outer limits of 100k, and our roads, beaches, and restaurants will be at full capacity and beyond until the end-of-summer ebb,  which begins on the 18th. It is a time of conflicting emotions for we islanders, as we actively practice the art of avoidance of the chaos that fuels our seasonal economy and hide in our quiet places of refuge and pray for September. As the truck passed, I had a melancholy moment trying to reconcile that the summer needs to be held longer than the calendar allows and that time’s short. The grass needs cutting, but it can wait. I’m heading to the beach for a swim instead.

—Ray LaPorte, reporting from Vineyard Haven