Obituary : Calvin Zaiko
Calvin Zaiko, former owner and host of The Beach House Bed and Breakfast on Sea View Avenue in Oak Bluffs, died unexpectedly on July 15 at his new home in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Born on April 19, 1949 Calvin was raised in New Britain, Conn. He attended Pomfret Academy, followed by studies at the University of Connecticut as well as the University of Miami. Shortly after his schooling he left to travel extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East when borders, though not always friendly, were still open to young travelers with a guitar and the desire to experience the world. It was during these travels that Calvin began to hone his talent for music and songwriting. In fact, he will be remembered by many on the Vineyard for this aspect and love in his life.
When he returned to the states in 1972 Calvin chose to spend some time at the family's summer home on the Oak Bluffs waterfront. He could often be observed swimming along the shoreline in front of his home, a daily activity that he maintained on and off for years. Eventually he took a job with Bronie Lesnikowski and began to perfect his skills as a carpenter. And during those early winters he also tried his talents as an actor, working with Mary Payne and her theater group, captivating the audience with his powerful performance as Judas Iscariot in Mary's then-annual Passion Play.
In 1974, Calvin began to open his home as a bed and breakfast accommodation for visitors to the Island and until mid-year 2008 operated this business with his wife Pamela. His tales of the experience were many, told with a sharp wit and generally biting sarcasm but always with a sparkle and a smile at the end. There were also many years of inner struggle, personal demons at times, but Calvin never seemed to lack the desire to fight back and keep up the battle. And his devotion to his music and writing was a strong and common lifeline throughout it all. The Beach House, both a home and successful business for 30-plus years, was sold recently, and the Zaikos relocated to West Palm Beach where Calvin looked forward to an easier pace of operating a new and smaller business and pursuing his love of music.
Calvin leaves behind his wife, Pamela, his son, Justin, and, not to be forgotten, his dog, Logan, whom he treasured beyond words. While Pamela remains in West Palm Beach, Justin and Logan have returned to the Vineyard to live and will continue to care and look out for each other in this community where the family spent most of its life.
One of Calvin's loved ones has written, "Calvin, you will be missed by so many and remembered by even more. Your life was a full one. And no one can be said to have been more loyal to everyone you knew. We all wish that we might have said goodbye, but you will live on in the very hearts of us who were blessed enough to have shared some part of the path you walked...Rest peacefully, dear friend."