To the Editor:
I have such mixed feelings about this question. My father, Ted Meinelt, came to the Vineyard to teach art in the down-Island towns in 1938. He rented rooms in different homes initially, as was typical of young schoolteachers during that era. He saved his money and began looking for an interesting house in Vineyard Haven. Ultimately, he purchased the Caleb Prouty House, which was close to his good friends Evangeline and Henry Ritter on Beach Street. He remained in this house with its lovely view of the harbor (prior to the A&P/Stop & Shop being built) until he married my mother, Polly Mayhew Meinelt — another Island schoolteacher — in 1950. He then sold the house and moved to Polly’s family home in Chilmark, where he lived until his death in 2014 at 97.
I feel torn because, while Stop & Shop definitely needs to updated, I hate to see my dad’s house torn down. My wife and I restored the family home in Chilmark in 2016-17, and know that it is a labor of love, but we hate to see the old houses of the Vineyard disappear. Hopefully it can be saved and loved by others moving forward.