The lady on the porch


To the Editor:

Recently I was told about a Letter to the Editor regarding Johnny Seaview (Oliver Hazard Perry). (“A familiar neighbor would like to hear from you,” David and Eleanor Stanwood, Aug. 26, 2010; Obituary, Loretta Balla, July 15, 2010) He is away from the Island — a place he loved. I wrote to his address and included a Letter to the Editor that I wrote almost 30 years ago. I’d like to share it with those who had the privilege of knowing Johnny and Loretta, his friend for life, who passed this summer of 2010. God bless them and the good life we all share.

When on the seashore, I can hear the voice of a lady from the hotel porch. I was fortunate to work, to live a summer, and to play in this great white hotel, all too soon to be a legend in its own time.

I will always have a place in my heart for the Seaview Hotel and Loretta Balla. So magical were those days when Loretta sang, accompanied by piano, “Ukelele Lady,” and Johnny tended bar cracking jokes and talking horses. And through all the years she has worked so hard — they have made her shine.

Loretta, thank you for sharing all those years with all of us. Keep smiling — keep shining.

As I sit on the seashore overlooking the sound, I will always remember the voice of the lady on the porch.

Melanie Godek

Oak Bluffs