A fall gathering gathered friends


To the Editor:

Recently, an event was held at the area and beach that has become known nationally as the Inkwell. Being two of the many, many participants that attended the open, end-of-the-season community gathering, I feel a proper and correct impression has to be delivered. The event has been going on for more than 20 years and now has developed into a much-awaited and sought-after event. The original purpose was to meet, see, and say goodbye to the various friends that you will not encounter until the following season. Bring some food, sit and talk, tell a story about the summer and wish everyone blessings of health and safety through the upcoming winter. Clean and close your house and say goodbye.

Several years ago, the event was filmed and hosted by “Tank Talk,” a local cable show here on the Vineyard. With this show being shown several weeks on MVTV, the event’s popularity has now grown that much more. Proof of this is the attendance of Islanders from Vineyard Haven, Tisbury, Edgartown, Chilmark, and Aquinnah. The homeowners, long-term renters, and taxpayers all showed up with smiles on their faces and laughter in their hearts. The various organizers could never have expected a simple idea would grow to such a community success.

When I read the news article [Oak Bluffs sets warrant to trim $310K, October 13, MVTimes] and complaints, I came away with the impression of some sort of out-of-control event, with many negative overtones. Being that I have attended this event for more than five years, I found the statements to be misguiding and misleading. This was an event where both great- and grandparents were brought out. Several people, young and old, both swam and sat around on the beach until they felt it was time to come up and eat.

Several trips were made to both Reliable and Tony’s Market for additional beverages, ice, and food to accommodate the additional crowd. As the unexpected, welcome crowd grew, trips were also made to the local pizza and deli businesses. A delivery call was even made to order pizzas from the business in the Tisbury mall. Being brought over by one of the actual owners, after observing the event, he decided to donate the pizzas instead.

It was stated that an ambulance had to be called, which was a true statement. One participant, who also was one of the busy original organizers, suffered from dehydration, not the implied excess drinking. This can easily be verified by both the hospital or the EMT service. Throughout the day, motorist, joggers, bikers, strollers, and various passersby with the proper Vineyard attitude of not being afraid of something new, all stopped, inquired, and joined the festive event before continuing on their way.

Now that the small cluster of organizers have been made aware of the popularity of their end-of-the-season family event, there will be no reason not to request and apply for the proper permits. No one could have imagined a simple barbecue would grow like this. Everyone benefited; the local businesses did from people scurrying around gathering more food and others from additional shoppers in town for the day.

A person in a position of authority having any questions or complaints about an area they are responsible for should have the maturity to stop and question what is taking place at that location. Many incorrect impressions can be derived by a quick drive by. At that pace you may not be able to even see the other town employees and selectmen that are in attendance.

My question is, How many additional hours or barrels had to be used to clean up behind such a chaotic event. As one of the many volunteers that stayed to make sure the area was completely cleaned of any and all debris, I feel this is the type of statement worth mentioning.

If you felt a need to call in a complaint this year, come and join us next year. Be part of a wonderful, open fall day here on the Vineyard. You are welcome, and you will meet and enjoy others.

Alton Hardaway

Oak Bluffs

Kern Grimes

West Tisbury