Edgartown: Positive energy

—MV Times

Well, I don’t know where my brain was today, but it certainly wasn’t on writing my column. It’s 10 pm on Monday night, well past my deadline, as I finally sit down to write. It’s been a long, busy, and trying day. I was working last night when I first heard a helicopter overhead. I’m always hyperaware of the MedFlights now. But it didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t a MedFlight. Waking up to the news that two young men, brothers, were missing off the Big Bridge was just so heartbreaking. As I write, one has been found, but the other still remains missing. I always think of the parents in these situations. What parent doesn’t? It’s just too much to even think about. With a grateful heart, I spent a couple of hours with Amelia tonight, making plans and booking her stays for her upcoming trip to Europe. It’s just that much more nerve-wracking today to think about letting her go find her own adventures.

As a result of this tragic event, I find myself at a loss for what to write. I’ve watched in amazement as people have argued the pros and cons of bridge jumping, made the assumption that alcohol was probably involved (it was not), commented on how people should know better, and commented on the fact that people were still jumping off the bridge today. I’m not the nicest human in the world. But I am nice. And I know that all those discussions have no place in public forums right now. We seem to have become a society that has lost our ability to empathize and realize that there is a time and place for everything. I’m hoping that these topics come up so quickly because it is a way to deal with the immensity of the tragedy. We don’t know how to put into words how we feel, so we talk about how this could have been avoided. Maybe it makes people feel better to verbalize ways that it wouldn’t happen to them. I don’t know.

The fact is, there are a hundred ways it could have been avoided. And any other night they could have done the same exact thing without incident. Maybe they even have done it several times this summer. Nine times out of ten, it would probably end differently. This time it ended tragically. In due time, discuss the issues of jumping off the bridge at will. But for now, let us mourn these two young men and have sympathy for their families. Life involves risks. We all take chances. We all make choices that have terrible repercussions. We all are doing our best in life. But right now, we all need to just sit back, take a deep breath, and have some respect for these men and their families. Let’s stop passing judgment on each other, and lift each other up. Always. This family needs positive energy going their way now. They don’t need to tune into the news and read negative comments. Remember, above all else, be kind. My heart goes out to the family, friends, and community of these young men.

The League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard is sponsoring a candidate forum on Tuesday, August 30, at the Oak Bluffs library, starting at 7:30 pm. The forum will provide an in-person opportunity to meet the two candidates for the office of Dukes County sheriff: Erik Blake and Robert Ogden. These candidates are on the Democratic ballot for the primary election on Sept. 6. The Dukes County sheriff is the chief law enforcement authority for the entire county. This includes services provided through the county jail, regional lockup operations, regional emergency communication center, civil process department, community outreach, training, and administration.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Jessica Francis on August 20, Chris Mara, Kathleen Dougherty, and my cousin Emma Manganella on August 21, and Shay Sullivan on August 22.

I’m sure there are other things that I could find to write about, but life just feels heavy right now. I hope everyone enjoys the events this week, from Illumination Night to the Ag Fair to the fireworks. And then the Island will probably rise up a wee bit out of the ocean as the masses begin to leave our little rock. Hug your friends and family and tell them you love them. Life can be short. And time is precious. Have a great week.

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.



  1. Thank you Gail, the best things in life come from the heart. To the Bulgin family, so sorry for your loss. Tavaris and Tavaugh, two brothers, together in heaven, they will always be missed and remembered. Two very kind men, tragic loss, so sorry.

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