Town Columns


By Gail Craig - August 31, 2006

To anyone who noticed I was missing last week, I apologize for the nonexistent column. I didn't get any tidbits to share and after the fireworks and fair and family and general craziness of summer, I simply did not have the ambition to dig for news. If I'm not mistaken, I sat in my big cozy chair, watching "Law and Order," with Chester draped over my lap instead.

I can't believe Labor Day Weekend is upon us. Where did my summer go? I've come to realize that I have spent much of this summer as a crazed and maniacal woman doing my impression of the 70's toy, Stretch Armstrong. While I was in the middle of the chaos of work, camp, family, beach, chores, swim lessons, gardening, more work, housework, cooking, cleaning etc., it didn't seem so insane. But now, I look back on the last two months and wonder why I am still functioning, though some of you may choose to swap the word "if" for "why" in this sentence. Or for that matter, why anyone is still speaking to me, let alone employing me. This summer, I have had a total of eight jobs that I have been bouncing back and forth between, which is just completely nuts. It's no wonder I feel like the summer just blew past me. Next summer, no more than four jobs!

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Shay Sullivan, who turned seven on August 22; Emma Searle who celebrated on August 25, which I remember because it is my anniversary; Bob Fynbo, who celebrated on August 28; and the biggest wishes of all to Bill Bailey, who celebrated a big birthday on August 24.

Last month, I got a nice e-mail from former Vineyard resident Jim Knight. Some of you may remember him or members of his family, though they left the Island in 1966. It seems Jim was feeling nostalgic and began to Google names from his past. When he Googled Ricky McCarron, he hit upon one of my columns in which I reminisced about Ricky and others, as well as the old Boy's Club etc. Jim had lived just down the street from the McCarron's and had spent time with Rick. The column brought back some memories of his youth in Edgartown, from movie night at the club, to his first dance.

Jim also shared that though he recently lost his mother, Frances, his father, Elliot Knight, a former teacher at our high school in the 1960s, as well as a part-time police officer in Edgartown, is still walking three or four rounds of golf a week in Naples, Fla.

After leaving the Island, Jim grew up in Maryland, graduated from the University of Maryland, took a commission in the United States Marine Corps, and met his wife Kim while in San Diego, Calif. They moved back to Maryland from California and had three children. He now lives with his family in Naples. His older brother, Steve, is a detective with the Prince Georges County (Maryland) Police Department and has two sons, while his younger brothers, Dave and Jeff, recently moved to Naples as well.

I think Jim's final paragraph really sums up the old Island days well, so I'm sharing it with you here, pretty much just as he wrote it. "We lived in a house that was on a small dirt road that ran between Clevelandtown Road and what is now South Street. My father worked on the police department. Back then they had one police car, which was a station wagon, that doubled as some sort of ambulance! We still have a picture of Dad out in front of our house, in uniform, with that police car/ambulance. From Ms. Mortimer's nursery school (Summer Street?), to movie night at the Boys Club, to the Bend in the Road Beach, to the Boys Club Drum and Bugle Corps in the Fourth of July parade (I loved those red helmets they wore), to tossing flowers into the harbor on Memorial Day, to being seven years old and being able to ride my bike and roam the town without fear, it was an idyllic place and an idyllic time to grow up".

I love it! And so many of the things he remembers are still happening here! Thank you so much to Jim Knight, for contacting me and sharing news of a family from our past!

Well, I thought the missing column last week might have pulled a few more e-mails and phone calls with news to share, but it didn't. So that's it for this week. Be sure to get me some news for next week or I'll have to dedicate the column to Sherm and Kelly again!