To the Editor:
I am native to New Jersey but have been coming to the Vineyard since I was a very little girl. My parents describe one of their earliest memories of me on the Vineyard walking back from Lambert’s Cove Beach all the way to the inn road right near the Lambert’s Cove Church. I was probably two or three years old and carried this huge, round rock all the way back. In the water, it was speckled with the colors of peach, gray, black, and pink. We did not have rocks like that in New Jersey, and I just had to have it. It must have weighed five pounds, but I carted it all the way home. They later named the rock Holly Jill after me, and it became a doorstop for my grandmother’s home.
Many years later, with my parents and three brothers, we outgrew staying at my grandmother’s home and rented the parsonage for the Lambert’s Cove Church. My father was great friends with Franklin and Alma Benson who lived at the bottom of the hill. On a side note, they still have Alma over for dinner when they are on the Island.
Franklin was so great with his very funny wit and awesome smile lines. He was like a grandfather. He used to pick us up in his old Volvo that reeked of old bait and take us out lobstering in the cove. Of course, we were there to help pull pots. His smile made it worth the hard work every time. I have a picture of us in front of the parsonage when I was about 20 years old. I wonder if he knew the happy memories he gave me and my family before he passed.
My point of this walk down memory lane is to draw your attention to an article I just read. It describes the reason why families go to the Vineyard and the race to catch the ferry. All of this is very much a piece of my history, one that I will cherish forever. This article describes driving off the ferry and how it feels like heaven on earth. It is wonderful to come to the Vineyard, and I have not been in several years, but this article was missing one important detail — the ride back onto the ferry at the end of your vacation.
The ride back onto the ferry, for me, is very sad. I get choked up just thinking about it. The Vineyard is unlike any place I have ever been. My father was fortunate enough to take the month of July off every year for our family vacation, so I really did feel like part of it. I’m almost an Islander, and I have not retired yet, and hopefully that dream is still possible.
So for me, driving back onto the ferry is like leaving home. Watching the Black Dog Tavern fade out of sight was always very hard for me to do.
I wish magazines would stop putting such great stories out. That is me selfishly speaking. Martha’s Vineyard is really one of the world’s best-kept secrets.
North Cape May, New Jersey