Tags Posts tagged with "derby"


— Illustration by Kate Feiffer

NickiGalland-headshotBemused readers ask novelist Nicole Galland for her take on navigating the precarious social landscape that comes with living on the Vineyard. Nicole, who grew up in West Tisbury, is known locally as the co-founder of Shakespeare For The Masses at the Vineyard Playhouse. Her combined knowledge of both this island and the world’s greatest melodramas compels her to help prevent unnecessary tragedy wherever possible. Trying to untangle a messy Island ethics or etiquette question? Send it to OnIsland@mvtimes.com

Dear Nicole:
My wife has a significant birthday coming up, and she wishes to celebrate by spending a long weekend on a foliage tour in New Hampshire. The dates coincide with the best Derby fishing according to historical records, and I feel certain that I will miss out on a winning fish if I accompany her. Years ago I suggested that we postpone our wedding until after the Derby and she simply ignored the question. What is your advice about asking her to postpone her birthday until October 19th?
Confidentially Yours,

Dear Derbyguy:
Answer quickly: what’s more important to you, winning the Derby or making your wife happy?

If you had to think about that for even for a nanosecond, then you are such a diehard fisherman that you might as well go ahead and ask her. (If you’re not one, don’t ask her. Really. Not for a “significant birthday.”)

So perhaps the question really is, how will you respond to her saying no? Trust me on this: she will say no. Her ignoring your request to postpone your marriage for Derby season implies either (a) she thought you were joking, in which case she will think you are joking again, or (b) she knew you were serious, and but had to convince herself you were joking so that she could bear to go through with marrying you.

Speaking of her marrying you: if your wedding conflicted with the Derby, then your anniversary must as well. Stop reading this right now, and go buy her a nice card. Avoid any fish imagery. Maybe get her some flowers too. I think dahlias are still in bloom.

Once you’ve done that, I guess you can go ahead and ask her about delaying her birthday. Spoiler alert: She’ll still say no. But at least you’ll have gotten it out of your system.
That’s my take.


Dear Nicole:
How long should I wait between picking something up at the Dumptique and selling it at a yard sale?
Confidentially Yours,

Dear Rags:
I can only think of three reasons why you would be asking this question:

One: You are so broke that you are trying desperately, from genuine need, to literally get something for nothing.

Even if you’re that hard up, don’t rob other needy people of their chance to get decent free clothes. If you’re done with the clothes, recycle them back to the Dumptique, or donate them to one of the Thrift Shops.

Two: You’ve come up with a rather sleazy way to game the system, and get something for nothing. In which case: Boy, are you pathetic. You’re robbing needy people of their chance to get free clothes. At least confine your unethical schemes to things that don’t harm people in genuine need. Target those with disposable cash. Sell seashells to tourists or something.

Three: As a frugal Yankee, you’ve gotten due use out of an item, and want to continue to wring maximum benefit from your thrift.

In that case, wear it until it’s in tatters. And then return it to the Dumptique because really, who’s going to pay for that thing at a yard sale?
That’s my take.

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The photographs capture the colorful history of one of the Island's signature events. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Photographs documenting almost seven decades of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby are now displayed on the walls of the long first floor hall of the new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. It is one in a series of displays that make up the hospital’s eclectic collection of art.

The photos include weigh-in scenes from the 1950s, portraits of well known Island fishermen, anglers in action, and classic shots of large fish. In all, it’s a fun peek at the annual community tradition and adds a unmistakably Island feel to the new hospital’s interior, high ceilinged and architecturally distinguished, but not homelike.

The exhibit was assembled from a show that ran roughly parallel to the 2013 Derby at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown. Museum curators Anna Carringer and Lindsey Lee selected the photographs from an archive of more than 1,000 images the Derby committee donated to the museum in 2001.

While the new hospital has boasted a museum-like collection of works from Island artists, including a growing permanent collection of Island themed art donated by the artists and by private collectors, hospital board vice chairman Edward Miller, who is also chairman of the art committee, said it is a hospital first and not a museum. He said that hospital directors have reserved the long windowed hall for temporary, rotating exhibits.

“We asked the museum to come up with some ideas for the first exhibit. They put together a show of vintage Oak Bluffs photographs from the turn of the century that just came down, after being up for more than a year,” he said. “I can’t tell you what the next show will be, but we already have it lined up.”

He said he expects the Derby show to stay up for about a year, depending on the community’s response.

“We like having the museum visible in that space,” chief Martha’s Vineyard Museum curator Bonnie Stacy said. “The exhibits are so broadly appreciated by the public that goes through there.”

Hospital employees enjoy it too. “When we were installing the Derby show, it was amazing how much interest there was in what was going up, from the people in scrubs. They were paying a lot of attention.”