Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
Wendy's service was beautiful. This Island is an amazing place. Not just for the scenic views or the beaches, not for the lighthouses and quaint villages. It is amazing because of the sense of community. When a family is in a jam, the whole Island bends an ear and immediately asks what they can do to help. And help they have.
On Saturday, July 26, our Island came together to celebrate the life of my wife, Wendy. We were humbled and honored by the sheer number of people that took time out of their busy summer schedule, to be with us to honor her. The tent was full of flowers, food, and most of all love. At both ends there were pictures galore. Wendy loved her camera. I used to complain, "Wendy, we have tons of pictures in boxes all over the house. What are we going to do with all of them?" Now I know why.
A gathering like we had on Saturday does not just happen on its own. It takes a small army. We want to thank all who were involved; no matter how big or small your role was, please know that you were appreciated.
The Flanders family for allowing us to use such a special location to celebrate at.
Rosemary, Simone, Jen, and Roe, thank you for getting it all together at the ground level. From the beginning to the end.
Evan and Porter, thanks for all the help setting up and being the muscle behind the scene.
Jack and Jeff, thanks for the PA system so we could all share special moments we had with Wendy.
Amy and Gary from Al's for keeping all the guests hydrated.
Tom and Marsha from Vineyard Bottled Water, thank you for all that cold water. I sure needed it.
Tara, Sue, Marge, and Prudy for some of the most beautiful flower arrangements and centerpieces. Wendy really would have enjoyed those.
Tilton Rental for the tent, table and chairs. Sue, you were a giant help with all your suggestions.
John and Manny at Cash and Carry for all you help with the flat ware and plates.
Rich, Chris, Kenny, and Francis for help buttoning the place up.
To my son, Wyatt, for being such a big helper, from getting me a face cloth to answering the phone when I could not. Just for being such a strong young man helping his mom and dad when times are tough. We are very proud of you and love you very much.
Like I said, it takes a community to have a get together like this. Wendy would have loved it. I know we really enjoyed spending time with everyone and feeling all the love. I know it is not easy getting to the Island and appreciate all those who came from afar to be with us.
I know I have not mentioned all who helped, but please know your work and effort were appreciated.
Ben, I loved your letter. Now get up there and take care of that slip. Don't worry, I will never forget you.
Patrick and Wyatt Jenkinson
To the Editor:
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who came to my rescue on Wednesday evening, July 30. Yes, I was riding one of those despised mopeds and was involved in an accident. Like many other Island residents, I used to complain about mopeds and question their safety until the price of gas soared. I began to consider ways to economize. Since I frequently travel back and forth to work at Curves, which is only about a mile from my home, I reconsidered my view on mopeds and decided, given their great gas mileage, it was the way to go.
After several practice sessions at the high school parking lot and up and down my street, I was ready to take it on the road. Since I had a staff meeting scheduled at 7 pm and traffic had slowed down, this was the perfect time for my first solo test run to Curves. Garbed in a jacket, long pants, shoes and a full motorcycle helmet with face shield, I was on my way.
Well, speaking of curves, I went too wide on one of them. According to the DMV motorcycle practice test, the biggest cause of accidents involving a single motorcycle is veering wide through a turn or curve. Will I ride again? Having ridden horses and believing that if you're thrown from a horse you have to get back on at least once (I've experienced that too), I'll let you answer that. However, my next step is to take a motorcycle safety course and add a pair of riding gloves to my gear.
Switching gears, many thanks to the man who stopped and called the ambulance, the woman who stayed with me until the ambulance arrived, my husband who came immediately when I called him, the ambulance crew, the superb Martha's Vineyard Hospital staff, the med flight crew and the medical staff at Mass General. A special thanks to two of my Curves members who happened to be on duty Joyce Stiles-Tucker, who registered me, and Kelsey Forend-Healy, who rode with me in the ambulance to the airport and to my son, David, who stood by comforting me. It meant so much to see familiar faces and have family by my side. No words can express my extreme gratitude to Dr. Cathy Beland, who treated me in our ER, arranged transport to Boston ASAP and did a great suturing job on my arm, as noted by the trauma surgeon at Mass General.
To all of you whom I haven't mentioned, who were there in person or spirit, thank you. Lastly, a never-ending thank you to my daughter, Jessica, who insisted I purchase the full motorcycle helmet with face shield. If you saw the face shield now, you'd know why.
Thanks for the support
To the Editor:
I would like to thank those of you who spoke or wrote in our behalf. Firefighters everywhere have a daunting task when called upon. Because we are volunteers, it does not make the fires any colder or less dangerous. It is tougher sometimes here when you respond to a call, and it's your friend's parent in medical distress, house on fire, or car wrapped around a tree. Like many firefighters here and abroad, we are a family and we stick together. So when someone says something bad about a job we did, it sticks and hurts a little.
We recieve $700 a year (which we're taxed on, naturally) to answer every automatic fire alarm, fire, car accident, flooded basement, cat up a tree, fire drills, fire safety prevention week, and whatever else comes our way. We do it for the community. My grandfather, father, three uncles and for 19 years I have fought fires - most of them for the town of Tisbury. We learn from every scene to do a better job the next time.
I don't know why Bob Johnson [Praise for firefighters not warranted, July 24] felt you had to write your letter, don't really care. When you have the courage to step out from behind the yellow tape and feel a little heat, you can comment on the activities at a fire ground. The letter writer and his small following of skeptics should remember that times change, people can't afford to stay here anymore. Fire department personnel numbers get smaller. Whatever town you live in, join your local fire department, be a part of something worth fighting for. Your home. Your community.
Darren S. Welch
An Olympic friend
To the Editor:
With the excitement of the Beijing Olympics upon us, I couldn't help but recall my own excitement in 1936, when I turned on the radio and heard that Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe had finished first and second for the United States, in the 100 meters at the Berlin Olympics. Owens went on to win the 200 meters, with Mack Robinson (Jackie Robinson's older brother) finishing second. This was becoming very embarrassing to Adolph Hitler, who preached that Aryan athletes were the super race.
Owens was also a member of the winning 400-meter relay team, with Metcalfe, Foy Draper, and Frank Wyckoff, but herein lies a tale. Two other runners, Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, had trained for the relay and were expected to run for the United States, but at the last minute Owens and Metcalfe (who had never practiced a baton exchange) were substituted. Why the substitutions? One story circulated that since Glickman and Stoller were Jewish, Hitler asked they be removed, so as not embarrass him any more, with a U.S. team winning the gold medal with two Jewish runners. The coaches claimed they needed their fastest runners.
Owens's fourth medal was in the long jump. Owens fouled on his first two jumps and if he fouled on his third, he was out of the competition. At this point, Luz Long, Germany's best long jumper, suggested that Owens jump a few inches before the take-off board. Owens took this advice and qualified for the finals, which he won, with Long finishing second, who then congratulated Owens. Owens later said, "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler. You can melt down all the medals and cups I have, and they wouldn't be plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Luz Long at that moment."
Hopefully, the sportsmanship and good will of Luz Long will be the spirit of the 2008 Olympics.
Crucial for county government
To the Editor:
This letter was written to the commissioners of The County of Dukes County.
Speaking as friends of the county, we believe that the manner in which the County Commissioners fill the unexpired term of Paul Strauss will be both pivotal and crucial.
Pivotal because an accident of timing thrusts the decision making into a period of flux. Behind us is the history of the county under the charter of 1992, still in force. Also, immediately behind lies the extraordinarily thorough examination and report by the current charter study commission. Ahead lies the electorate's November action in regard to the proposed changes by the Charter Study Commission. But at this moment, a new charter proposal is 'on the table.' We believe that the Commission's current task in decision making is the pivot between the past and the future.
Crucial because the manner in which this decision is made will determine how the county will be perceived by the citizens of Martha's Vineyard. It may also determine how the new charter proposals will fare in November. Having in mind the current attitudes of many Vineyard residents toward county government, the interest of voters in the report of the charter study commission and the imminence of the vote, up or down; on its recommendations for change - for all these reasons, the commissioners must know that the public will be watching not only their choice, but the process by which they make it. Public trust and confidence in county government needs to be rebuilt on the island.
We urge you, the commissioners, to assure the electorate that the procedure will be transparent and fair. This would require that criteria for choice 1) be carefully thought through, then 2) discussed in public meeting; and 3) advertised well in advance of the candidate interviews. It is equally important that both the interview process and the discussion of each candidate's credentials be in open session, and that measures be taken to assure that the entire procedure is eminently fair.
This appointment is a golden opportunity to reassure Dukes County citizens that county government is both important and worth preserving.
To the Editor:
It is sad that the Holthams are not selling the Home Port to another restaurateur who would continue the business for patrons who savor seafood, sunsets, and the "back-door" service.
After enjoying many happy times there, I dislike the prospect of this beautiful restaurant being torn down to make room for a comfort station and a public park. Is not Menemsha Beach a public park? It seems a shame that an institution that has thrived since 1931 should have to suffer such an ignominious death.
To the Editor:
I find it shockingly amazing and unfortunately typical that the Martha's Vineyard Commission is putting itself in the middle of an incredible $1.8 million opportunity for both the Edgartown housing committee and the residents they could serve with this donation from the Field Club project at Katama. The Field Club has offered to pay $1.8 million toward affordable housing, in lieu of three house lots within the development. That is $600,000 dollars per lot. I ask myself how any rational person could even begin to compare the benefit of $1.8 million to three free house lots in an upscale, probably seasonal, housing development, where it is doubtful the winners of the house lots would even want to live.
Consider what $1.8 million could do for affordable housing.
Eighteen families could receive a $100,000 (or nine families could receive a $200,000) grant or zero percent loan, to be paid back to and passed on by the housing committee, if the house is sold, to purchase existing homes from our existing, under-$500,000 housing inventory.
Under the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority rental assistance program, $1.8 million would subsidize 375 working families into three-bedroom homes for one year, or pay for this assistance for 93 families for four years.
Obviously anyone who thinks from a rational rather than ideological perspective sees $1.8 million as more than three free house lots, but in this case we have the brilliance of the Martha's Vineyard Commission pondering busing in three working class families at any cost. Every breath from the mouth of the commission members raises the cost of living on the same working families we need to keep on the Island for our year-round economic sustainability. The regional planning, or lack thereof, policies of the commission have been gentrifying Martha's Vineyard for the last 30 years. The proof is today's outbound migration of the work force. Thirty years of the commission and no housing.
We live in the most failed state in the union, based upon outward migration of the working class, because of the high cost of living caused by excess and overlapping bureaucracies, regulations and taxation, plus the high cost of housing caused by the resident having to compete with the illegal, uncontrolled, untaxed and unlicensed commercial use of our residential property by the transient accommodation business. Say weekly rental. The taxpayer cannot afford to pay for unfunded liabilities, like retirement and health insurance for everyone who worked for the taxpayer for as long as they live with a declining population of working families, without taxing whoever is left into poverty. Based on this path, I hope whoever gets to be the last one leaving the "Commywealth" of Mass remembers to turn out the lights.
I also hope the anti-nuke, anti-drilling, anti-hydro power, anti-refineries, anti-coal, anti-growth, anti-technology self-impressed liberal boomers, who knew nothing about anything but wanted to control everything, realize that their progressive movement of the 1970s has failed, and we are reaping what was sown. Thirty years and no housing locally. Thirty years and no energy nationally. Good Job. If you remember 1978, I wonder if you have apologized to your children lately?
Donald N. Muckerheide
To the Editor:
Everyone seems upset with the Martha's Vineyard Commission's decision to discuss the "deal" negotiated between the Town of Edgartown and the Field Club to void the affordable housing condition on its permit for a donation of $1.8 million. They say: it's a done deal, we're on a roll, it's none of the Martha's Vineyard Commission's business, and there is nothing to discuss. Here are a couple of things to discuss.
While a condition imposed by the Martha's Vineyard Commission is just an administrative decision and can be changed, there has to be a reason. It is like a request for a waiver, and waivers should not be granted just because the applicant does not want to comply. It is understandable that the Field Club does not want to comply, but that is not a reason. The town does not want to comply - they want the money - but that is not a reason either. No one has mentioned any reason for the deal. It seems to be simply a matter of the Field Club offering money to the town, in exchange for avoiding the condition one way or another. (Is the town supposed to get the MVC to go along, or is it supposed to simply look the other way and not enforce the condition?) There are many names for this sort of deal, but calling it a donation does not make it lawful, and the town has no business even considering it.
And why does Edgartown sell out so cheaply? Not even a counter-proposal? (If you are going to take a bribe, make it a good one, make it a diamond as big as the Ritz.) $1.8 million is $600,000 for each lot, which is probably just the difference between its present value under the condition and its present value on the open market free of deed restrictions. In short, it is no more than what the Field Club stands to lose anyway on the first sale of the lots under the condition, so in a real sense the Field Club is not offering anything it has not already agreed to give up. That is a good deal for the Field Club. To get the real value of the condition, you have to take the long view, because the deed restriction is in perpetuity and that means it keeps on giving year after year. Its true value is the lost value of future open-market sales 10, 20, 50 years down the road. That is what it is worth to the Field Club to remove it. $5 to $10 million might not be asking too much: it would turn this deal into a bona fide contribution to the cause of affordable housing and might even be enough to set up a fund for the purchase of affordable housing every year or so in perpetuity.
I know, I know, some people will squeal like pigs about the money, but they can afford it, and they do so desperately want to be left alone.
To the Editor:
Thank you, Bashia and Milo, for offering the rest of us a time and place to honor and celebrate Maynard. It was a generous thing to do, to include so many in your own time of grief. It was a lot of emotional work for you, and I know that everyone truly appreciated the chance to be included. The day was beautiful, the feeling in the Ag Hall was incredible - a group hug for hundreds of Maynard's friends. This community always comes together, but this was above and beyond anything I have ever seen. It matched Maynard's spirit - friendship, humor, grace, music and Island-style, with everyone pitching in and lending a hand to make it happen. It was a reminder that we are all in this together, and we hold each other up. So, thanks for including us, it was so meaningful. And thanks Trip Barnes for the artwork display - that was perfect. Peace, Maynard.
The point was
To the Editor:
In response to last week's "Unfair critics" letter, let me be the first to thank Rob Sherer, festival network line producer, for coming forward and courageously owning up to his foreknowledge and possible connection to the culprits who concocted the patently false "Jim Belushi Blues Legend" pronouncement for their questionable advertisement, which I felt necessary to call attention to in my letter to the editor of July 24. Unfortunately, Mr. Sherer decided to leave the architects of that shameless marketing ploy nameless and in tandem, attempt to color my concerns in a shade more sinister than I can accept credit for. The phrase, "It was done by others to promote the event," is apparently designed to distance Mr. Belushi from a declaration that I never attributed to him in the first place. Nowhere did I write that Mr. Belushi himself made the claim. In fact, in paragraph one, my (newly confirmed) suspicions centered squarely on the promotional campaign itself.
All of this, however, is hardly the point, for if you peruse the piece again you will notice, it does not address Mr. Belushi personally, it addresses Island residents and by proxy the general public. The letter in question speaks to the nature of revisionist history and its relationship to the tenets of marketing. Sadly, blinded by an allegiance to a fraternity of false advertisers, Mr. Sherer garnered nothing from that essay, as evidenced by his stale inference that I used the piece "as a vehicle to comment on (Belushi's) non-musical professional career," a statement as misleading as the "Blues Legend" claim itself. Regardless of the fact that Mr. Belushi has willfully chosen a profession in which public critique is an inescapable part of the job description, any reference to a "non-musical professional career" was done solely to illustrate a point, one that has apparently wilted on the pyre of stilted reading comprehension.
The issue was, is, and always has been this: should one allow counterfeit revisionist history to be formed around them and inform the times in which they live? Does doing so have the potential to diminish our respect for real history?
To the Editor:
This letter was written to the Martha's Vineyard Boys and Girls Club.
While on our two week stay here in Martha's Vineyard from New Jersey, we - Connor (12), Anna (9), Fiona (12) and Nora (12) Bradley - decided, on a hot, sticky day, that we were going to have a lemonade stand. We wanted to donate the money to a good organization, so we started brainstorming places to donate it to. Being kids ourselves, we thought that the Martha's Vineyard Boys and Girls Club was deserving of our hard-earned profits. In the three hours that we worked, all together we made $66.47. Many people gave us the spare change that they had when they found out the profits were going to a good cause. We admire that you care so much about the happiness and well-being of children, young and old.
We hope you use this money to add to the enjoyment of the kids and young adults that participate in your wonderful program.
Fiona Bradley, Anna Bradley, Connor Bradley and
Fear and hate
To the Editor:
Fear and hate are alive and unwell in Knoxville, Tennessee, and elsewhere.
Feelings of fear and hate do not give us license to kill, segregate, deport, starve, torture, commit genocide, or whatever other heinous acts we humans choose to inflict upon one another in the name and cause of protecting our own values and beliefs, or turf.
The dreadful shootings and killings in a Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., on July 27, by a man angered, supposedly, because liberals and gays were taking away his job opportunities are beyond understanding, or are they?
This will undoubtedly happen again. Only the location and the reason given will be different, or will they? But why houses of worship and not the House or the Senate? Angry, fearful people have been targeting and attacking people gathered in their houses of worship throughout human history. And yet, one of the basic tenets of human religious practice, however defined theologically, is to do good works, make a difference, make the world a better place, show love and respect to your brothers and sisters and honor the divine, however we understand it. But something has gone horribly wrong between the thought and the deed.
Some justify their horrible deeds by claiming they are attacking the "axis of evil." But is not evil, like other attributes of human belief - like beauty and truth -found and defined in the eye and mind of the beholder? What are we protecting? Whose beauty? Whose truth? Whose freedom to choose?
Liberal religious people and liberal political thinkers and liberal social activists often find ourselves under the very real attack of those who would resist the change that our liberal thinking would bring about. Yet most of us, and I do admit to speaking generally here, wish only to be allowed to open the doors of human thinking and level the playing field of opportunity for all. Doesn't this sound remarkably like the Bill of Rights?
As a liberal, religious woman and minister, I ask only to be allowed to think and speak my mind and make an informed choice as to how I wish to live my life. Under that same heading of liberal, religious person, I will actively work to extend that same courtesy and human right to others.
As a liberal, religious human being, I will stand for, and pray for, and work towards a day when as Americans and as world citizens, we will love, honor, and respect each other's differences (this sound familiar?), not kill each other over them.
Unitarian Universalist Community
To the Editor:
I attend many art openings on the Island, but last weekend was an especially poignant one for myself. The show at Featherstone Center for the Arts entitled "Art in Action: What it Takes" was such an experience of peace, a show by five incredible Vineyard woman artists, who are also demonstrating their art each week.
Then I went to the Grange Hall to see the "Paper & Scissors" project, where 21 or more Iraq Veterans had made huge hangings out of paper, which they had made themselves. Walking into the show made me feel like I was entering some kind of fantastical barracks, only instead of bunks, there were soldiers reading poetry, sitting on the floor writing in their handmade books, or drawing in sketch books. It was a place where I felt I had an intimate contact with the Iraq War, which you don't get to experience unless you have friends or relatives fighting.
The show was a result of a papermaking workshop called the "Green Door" in Vermont, and a workshop provided for the veterans by Sandy Bernat. The amazing part is that Sandy is one of the artists in the Featherstone Show and also helped the Iraq soldiers by offering her workshop most of the week so they could get ready for the "Paper and Scissors" show. She seemed to be the connection between War and Peace. Her work at Featherstone is a serene tribute to living creatures and natural spaces. The work of the soldiers at the Grange Hall was about sorrow, horror, death, and despair.
Since the paper on exhibit was made from their uniforms, dog tags, badges, flags, money, and all of the trappings of war, it reminded me of the "Happenings" of the 1960s, but much more meaningful.
I would like to thank both groups of artists, the women at Featherstone and the men and women at the Grange. They both represent what creation can do for those who make art and for those who can assimilate the work into their person. The Vineyard, as usual, has provided us with some great art, which can be pondered for a long time to come.
The right place
To the Editor:
Regarding the Gazette's article on July 25, 2008 entitled "Police Order War Protesters to Move "
The Tisbury planning board was disappointed to learn that peaceful protesters were forbidden to use the Post Office grounds at Five Corners for a demonstration last week. Five Corners, for all its faults, is nevertheless the "Speakers Corner" for the Island. If anyone wants to communicate their interests or opinions to the rest of the community, this is the place to do it.
In the recent renovation of the Post Office parking lot, we were instrumental in ensuring that there would be a wide public space on that corner. In addition to improving the safety and sightlines for pedestrians and cars, we assumed that it would also be available for just this purpose. The space is large enough to accommodate a small gathering without blocking the sidewalk. It is far from the entrance to the Post Office and would therefore create no conflict with post office patrons.
Our efforts to create more parks, plazas and walks in downtown Vineyard Haven go beyond just making it pretty; we want to create places like this where the community can meet, interact, and exchange ideas.
In the future, ownership of that corner plaza is to be transferred to the town, but for now it is federal property. That said, we do not see the logic of forbidding citizens of the United States from using what is in fact their own property to express their concerns. It is ironic that the group had to relocate to a private site to express their interest in a public matter.
We hope that in the future the town and the post office can develop a procedure that will allow small demonstrations like these to go forward at this site without incident.
L. Anthony Peak
Robert Aldrin, Peter Duart, Jamie Douglas
Tisbury Planning Board
Low road campaign
To the Editor:
This year's men's Wimbledon tournament ended in an epic five-set match, in which both players walked off the court to tremendous, well-deserved applause.
How would the spectators have felt if, during the match the players had been screaming curses and obscenities at one another?
Sadly, our presidential campaigns more closely resemble a barroom brawl than a Wimbledon tennis final. In a more rational and civilized society than we have, a contest's outcome would be determined by each candidate's making a straightforward, honest, and sincere presentation of the policies and programs he would pursue as president. The voters would then decide whose programs and policies appeared to be in the best interest of the American people.
Instead, our campaigns proliferate in personal attacks upon the character of the candidates, in which sneers, smears, distortions, half-truths, and occasional outright lies are employed in an effort to portray the opponent as someone unfit for the office of president.
Like millions of my fellow Democrats, I have looked upon Senator McCain as a decent and honorable person. Regrettably, but inevitably, the nature of our political battles will cause me and many others to have a decidedly lower opinion of him by the first week of November.
The erosion has already set in. McCain has recently run an ad portraying Obama alongside those proverbially bad little girls, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. (As someone commented, "Who forgot to include Lindsay Lohan in the picture?") The ad was rather amusing, if not off-the-wall ridiculous. It was also somewhat disgusting. It was certainly unworthy of John McCain.
It may be that I will also lose some respect for Senator Obama in the weeks ahead. Perhaps his campaign will direct nasty, low blows against McCain, though probably nothing as wildly bizarre as the juxtaposition of Obama with Britney and Paris.
How nice it would be if, at the end of a presidential contest, we Americans could stand up and applaud both candidates for the dignity and grace with which they had conducted their campaigns.
Robert E. L. Knight
To the Editor:
Nothing is as important as the pursuit of conscientiously living in the moment, the now. Taking in all of those little moments, the small victories, the fragrances and tastes of life can really do wonders if we just let it happen. It's quite easy after a while. The wars, the horrific state of the world economy, the seemingly constant pain and anguish suffered by so many millions all across this globe of ours, we tend to forget to live for today, in the moment. I think that sometimes people get so damn caught up in the ugliness that continually engulfs our world that they let the best part of life pass them by.
I occasionally get caught up in the Iraq war, how much it has divided not only this country, but the entire world as well.
But, this morning, I read the article written by Martha's Vineyard Times writer Janet Hefler (7/31, "Returning soldier brings positive Iraq report"), about how the good folks of the Island came together to welcome home Staff Sergeant Richard Monaco. The article made me very, very proud of the Island. I could just imagine how that moment must have felt for all those folks, especially for Staff Sergeant Monaco. I really wish I could have been there to see the homecoming in person.
I do support our troops; don't ever, ever challenge me on that one, people. Like the majority of Americans, I just don't support a war that the president himself, after much delay in pointing out what most of us initially suspected and now all obviously know, finally admits was based on "bad intelligence". Now sure, I read the rest of the article, what Staff Sergeant Monaco had to say about, "the destruction that unfortunately had to be which frankly, didn't sit too well with me."
Sure, I also read, "The American people don't hear a lot about the good things - they hear a lot about the casualties and the death and the destruction," and was not exactly comforted by the purposed shelving of our sense of loss and irreversible destruction with the subliminal message that we should accept everything out there without question. Hey, I have four nephews in Afghanistan and Iraq right now, and they only hear what they are told, and it's not necessarily the story we hear in the states. It's the story that they are repeatedly told by the military as a tool to keep them motivated, to give them a sense of purpose, to make them feel like they are truly making a change for the good. It's definitely not the whole story either. Not even close. And while I agree that they are now making a difference for the good, it isn't close to fixing what it took away to begin with.
So, grasshopper, I could have gotten all caught up in negativity, I could have just stopped reading the article because this war and everything about it truly sucked the hope out of the people of this world. Instead, immediately after I read the whole article, I re-read the first part of the article, the part about how the Island came together, and how awesome Staff Sergeant Monaco and his family and friends must have felt at that exact moment, and this is what I took as my moment. This is what made me happy to begin with. This kind of thing is why I am so attached to the Island and its people, and why I will always call Martha's Vineyard home.
James Taylor wrote in one of his songs, "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time." Folks, that really is the secret of life. James is such a prophet of the obvious, and his words lend to the idea of living in the moment. Living in the moment is the birth of new hope, the route of a song, the most important ingredient of true love. "Any fool can do it, there ain't nothin' to it."