Disney vacation photo found in book is a West Tisbury mystery


Around Christmas, Michael Colaneri of West Tisbury was volunteering at the recycling center at the West Tisbury dump, more popularly known as the Dumptique, one of the Island’s favorite “shopping” spots. A retired Martha’s Vineyard Hospital nurse who has served on numerous town boards, Mr. Colaneri came across a book commemorating Disney World in Florida titled, “Since the World Began, Walt Disney World the first 25 Years.”

Mr. Colaneri immediately thought of Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter, arguably Disney World’s biggest Island fan. Mr. Manter, a West Tisbury police sergeant and selectman, has visited the Magic Kingdom and Disney World in California annually for years.

“When I saw the book I knew Skipper would appreciate it,” Mr. Colaneri said in a phone conversation with The Times. “I have volunteered for quite a while over at the dump, and a lot of books come in. I’ve come to know the interests of a lot of folks and knew Skipper was a fan of Disney World. I took it by the town hall and thought that if he didn’t like it he could return it to the dump.”

When Mr. Manter looked through the book he discovered a 5 by 8 inch glossy photo of seven people of varying ages, their hair flying back, eyes closed, mouthing screams, tucked between the pages of the book. The photograph appears to be a happy but unidentified family, complete with hand-held video camera, descending the final water chute of the Splash Mountain ride in the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World. The date March 11, 1997 is written on the bottom of the photo.

And he thought the family might like to have it back so he brought the photo to The Times. “I just think they went to the trouble of buying the picture and they might enjoy seeing it after 17 years,” he said. “They may not even remember the picture. It looks like the book has never been read.”

Mr. Manter said he visits either Disneyland in California or Disney World in Florida several times a year. “I can’t count the number of times I’ve been,” he said. “It’s been so many. I like to go there to relax. There’s a little something for almost everyone there.”

He has made friends with other visitors and people who work at the magic kingdoms during his visits. A runner, he said he has a dinner date with a woman who recently transferred from Disneyland in California to Disney World in Florida when he heads for Disney World this month to run in a Disney sponsored marathon.

The photo can be picked up by the person with the most convincing story at The Times office in Vineyard Haven.