Farewell to Martha’s Vineyard


To the Editor:

After a cumulative 40-plus years, my wife and I have to say goodbye.This is a “now or never” decision, but we don’t think of it as leaving. We’re slightly “over the hump” in age, and we have bought a house in another New England state. We will begin a new life in a small mountain community.

We will bring so much from here with us. Many births, vibrant lives and hard deaths, the smart, open-hearted people, our living and gone dogs and cats. Nature here is in our bones, and we’ll walk with it there. We’re going as long-term wash-ashores, and now we’ll be flatlanders for the rest of our lives.

We thank so many people for their kindness and ideas, their laughter and genuine care. There are too many to name, but if you’re reading this, I hope you know who you are. There are two people I would like to thank by name.

Francine Kelly was and remains a high standard of wise attention to the capacity and need for creativity and imagination, and for the time and energy needed to sustain the arts. She gave my early efforts an open heart, space to grow, and much-needed belief. And Ann Smith has such a highly tuned belief in and commitment to creativity and its role in life and community. The energy and intelligence she posses burn bright here, and still do with me. Thank you both, in spirit and in health. Your impact on my and by extension my wife’s life will continue. We will bring you with us too.

So, for now, goodbye, Martha’s Vineyard — or, in the words of a well-known troubadour, “fare thee well.” 

Always in our hearts. Fondly, 

Patrick Phillips
(formerly) West Tisbury