Underway – so many to thank

To the Editor:

My Captain Ron and I, with our beloved dog Wendy, washed ashore in 1988. In our thirties and full of dreams and spunk, we sailed into a perfect storm. Sometimes the crests of the waves were the highest of high, sometimes the troughs tumultuous. The Vineyard was our ship, the people its crew.

As we say adieu, we wish to thank all the sailors that helped us make it through, from navigators Dr. Lew, Dr. Jasny, Dr. Goldfein, Drs. McMahon and Miller, and others too, their crews more competent than we knew. For all the school administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, secretaries, custodians, cafeteria workers, and others involved that kept our mates in tiptop shape. For the organizations from the Club, the Arena, the Y, the Scouts, both boy and girl, the scholarship funds, the church so important in our lives, and yes, even the Senior Center, we applaud you all.

On deck also were the nurses, the EMTs, the police and fire crews — whatever would we have done without you all and the ferry captains too? Thanks to the taxi and Lift van drivers, medical flight helicopters and their crews, pet sitters, school bus drivers, and coaches of every type that made our engine run. The mates of all the galleys that fueled us, such as Linda Jean’s, Gios, John at Fresh Pasta, along with friends with care baskets and lots of “Expresso” love — we are grateful. For the parent-riggers mastering car pools, skinned knees, school plays, and fields of “Angels” — thank you. So many others, hard to count, including the stranger that lent us two tires for our Jeep in the standby line so we could embark on our voyage home one cold and long day.

In addition, we cannot forget those boarders who cruised with us through many parties and gatherings. For the graduation attendees, the birthday clown, the DJs, the beach party goers, the Christmas Santa, and for the many ghouls that rode our Halloween pirate ship each October, giving us laughs and many priceless memories, regardless of the pirate of the road association.

For the many mates aboard the “volunteer” ships of the Vineyard, the unsung heroes of every helping hand, we thank you. For the parade masters, the Francois and Benitos and the steady Jays of our lives, we thank you so much. And those much needed professionals, such as the contractors, painters, landscapers, our accountant Roger, Steve the Insurance guy, and even a tandem bike riding minister — we will miss you all.

In remembering these last many years, we need to remember those no longer in our ocean, but that voyage somewhere in with Davy Jones. The two Lynns, Heather may be pumpkin tossing as we speak, Ray painting a heavenly portrait, and others too many to list — we miss you. Our other earthly friends of “dog” origin, Sandy, Velvet, and many fish that now swim free, we miss you too. We want to remember those scallywags that have departed for shores still on Earth, such as the Pitts, the Balls, the Johnsons, the Sandy and Dan Mc’s, and now the Fritzess.

Through the storms and fair weather sails, we found our oasis. We leave behind two natives, many good wishes, and God’s speed too. We know our ship is in good hands; our wheelhouse staffed with the best. We hope we have left it a little bit better than when we found it. Our next port will maybe be in the land of the Pilgrims, mermaid waters, or in other far ports. We leave today with our dogs, Olive and Jake, our duffle bags, and a little pirate treasure. However we know in our hearts that the real treasure will be left behind. With God’s help, perhaps we’ll wash ashore on another voyage? Until then, may the wind be at your backs.

Karen Kimball Walsh

For the Walsh Family

Edgartown