The Thompson family holds a reunion

Mary Beth Grady and Mrs. Thompson exchange greetings. Photos by Ralph Stewart

By CK Wolfson - June 8, 2006

The festive sounds coming from the Edgartown Room at the Harbor View Hotel on Saturday were those coming from nearly 50 of the friends and family of Olga Thompson, who came from around New England to share recollections and catch up on family news. The dinner party reunion was hosted by Mrs. Thompson, who six years ago moved from the Island to live in Maine, and her son Doug and daughter-in-law Becky Thompson.

With her late husband, Island native Dewolf Thompson, Mrs. Thompson managed the Menemsha Inn from 1945 to 1967. After her husband's death, she continued managing the inn until 1984.

It was at the Menemsha Inn that they met, Mr. Thompson from Vineyard Haven and Olga from Providence, R.I. Mrs. Thompson, who began working as a summer waitress, remembers telling her husband, "We'll never tell our kids that we met in July and married that October."

Daughter-in-law Becky, Olga Thompson, and son Doug listen with rapt attention as friends offer tributes and best wishes.

Two of the former Menemsha Inn waitresses, Islander Renee Balter and Marjorie Pomeroy from Rhode Island, who've kept in touch over the years, hosted a lunch with Mrs. Thomson earlier that afternoon. Mrs. Balter added her photo album from her days as a waitress to those on the table at the room's entrance. As she flipped through the black and white pictures of laughing girls, pajama parties and beach scenes, she recalled her bedroom under the dining room, the fun they had, and "breaking all the rules."

Doug Thompson welcomed everyone to "Olga's Edgartown Bash," introduced his family and then turned to floor over to his mother. She offered her welcome and said, "I'm overwhelmed that you're all here, and so happy to have this celebration of friendship and fun." She introduced her friends from Maine to the group, each of whom paid tributes to the beauty of the Vineyard despite the inclement weather. "This is absolutely the best time," she announced.