The end of tranquility


To the Editor: If the citizens of Tisbury open the door to alcohol sales even a tiny crack, we invite nothing less than the demise of 300 years of tranquility. Within a decade, there will be bars and liquor stores intimidating the quiet grace of Main Street. Our harbor will begin to suffer a swell of boaters intent on the booze, not the beauty, of Vineyard Haven. Our children will wonder why we did such a thing to such a satisfactory town, all in the name of what? The answer is, of course, the misplaced motivation of a few individuals, hoping to make a buck at the direct expense of the very character of the town itself. Heck, in a few years, if these folks leverage the local law to turn their restaurants into the bellowing cash cows of late-night bars, they’ll be complaining that we don’t let them stay open late enough. I can only imagine Henry Beetle Hough, for a half-century the gallant guardian of our wonderfully rural and unique quality of life on Martha’s Vineyard, watching as yet another precious gift from the gods — Tisbury’s grace and tranquility — erodes like a piece of the Gay Head bluff, dropping off to sea. I can’t help but think of Jimmy Stewart, in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, stumbling through town, aghast at how Bedford Falls suddenly became Pottersville. Tony Balis

Vineyard Haven